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Whiteside County, 









Entered according to Act of Congress, in the ^ear I877, bj 

Charles Bent, 

In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 


Printer and Binder, 

Clinton, Iowa. 


The Pioneers, 

Brave Men and Women, 

Who have made the Prairies and Forests op Whiteside County 

To " Blossom like the Rose, " 

this Volume is 

Respectfully Dedicated. 


History has an office to perform in the present by truly recording the events 
of the past, and that Whiteside County has made a history worthy of preservation, 
all admit. True, as measured by the lapse of years, the County is yet in its in- 
fancy, but its marvelous development from a wilderness, inhabited only by the 
savage, to its present -'proud estate," is a fitting subject for the chronicler; and 
especially is it proper that the brave and earnest men and women who dared the 
perils of field and flood, savage alarums, poverty and hunger, should have their 
works preserved in printed form. The commonwealth they founded and devel- 
oped will be their monument, but their trials and triumphs is the province of 
the historian to detail. 

The task of preparing the History of Whiteside County was undertaken 
after mature deliberation, with a full sense of its importance, and a knowledge 
that such a work is demanded. A true history can only be written from '-'actual 
facts." The time is opportune, as the pioneers are rapidly passing away, and the 
few lips yet remaining to tell the story of the "times that tried men's souls" will 
soon be stilled by the Destroyer of young and old. The difiiculties to be overcome 
in the preparation of the work were fully considered, but have proven even 
more formidable than anticipated. Forty years has warped the memories 
of the staunchest of the " Old Settlers"; fire, the ravages of time, and careless- 
ness, have destroyed many of the records kept in neighboring counties of the 
very earliest events that occurred in Whiteside before its organization, or when 
attached to other counties for judicial purposes. The early records of the 
County proper are but fragmentary, the details of the offices at that time being 
kept in a skeleton manner, or "carried under the office-holder's hat" — doubtless 
in those days all that was absolutely necessary. 

The archives of the State, at Springfield, were thoroughly examined, and the 
meagre record of early Whiteside secured; the old books of the counties to 
which Whiteside was attached previous to its organization, were investigated, 
and all pertinent matter that had escaped fire and loss, carefully transcribed; 
the old files of the newspapers of the County have been consulted for historical 
facts: the official books of the different cities, towns, villages, and townships, 
have also been examined, and all of general interest embodied in the work; the 
early records of churches, incorporations, and benevolent and other societies, 
were looked through, and many valuable items of history secured. Either my- 
self or assistants have penetrated every township in the County, and interviewed 
scores of old settlers, and gleaned many facts and incidents from them. Dates 


and occurrences are presented as accurately as possible, being confirmed by official 
records, or comparison. 

When the paucity of recorded matter, and the fact that so much depends 
upon the unaided memory of the first settlers, is considered, it is hoped that the 
History will commend itself to the reader for accuracy and minutia). The work 
is far from being above criticism. Doubtless errors will be discovered, but when 
the critic and reader properly consider the difficulties under which the History 
was prepared, their criticism will be mildly given. In the vast array of dates 
given in the biographies alone, of which nearly five hundred appear in this vol- 
ume, it would almost be miraculous did not some mistakes occur. All errors 
of importance that have been discovered previous to the publication and after 
the printing of the book, are corrected in an "Errata" inserted at the close of 
this volume, to which the attention of the reader is particularly requested. 

The plan and arrangement of the work can easily be ascertained by refer- 
ence to the table of contents immediately following this introductory. Matter 
of general interest relating to the early history of the County is first introduced, 
and arranged under appropriate heads. The general history of the County is 
followed by a particular history of the several townships in alphabetical order. 
A great advantage will be gained by at least one perusal, in course, of the entire 
History. Many interesting occurrences therein recorded, might, without such 
perusal, never come to the knowledge of the reader. A condensed history of 
the State, and an abstract of laws of general interest to the people, immediately 
follow the history of townships. Since the writing and printing of the precinct 
history of Whiteside during its connection with Ogle county, and that 
of the Old Settler's Association, facts have been secured in reference to them 
which was then thought impossible to obtain, and will be found incorporated in 
this work in a supplementary form, as will also the address of Hon. E. B. Wash- 
BURNE, in October last, on the occasion of presenting to the County a portrait 
of the "Prophet," a chief of renown during the Indian occupation of the County, 
the address containing so much of historical interest that it is deemed advisable 
to preserve it in this manner. As will be seen, biographical and genealogical 
sketches form a prominent feature of this History. They will generally be 
found in the historical sketches of the towns in which their subjects respective- 
ly resided, or now reside. It has been the aim to give the biographies of those 
who settled in the county before 1840, where it has been possible to secure the 
facts from which to prepare them. If any have been omitted it has been from 
this cause, or from the fact that it has not come to my knowledge that they 
were settlers prior to that date. In a few instances, in townships not settled at 
that time, or if so by but two or three inhabitants, the biographies of those 
prominent in developing the towns are given. It was found necessary to limit 
these sketches to those who made settlement previous to 1840, as the influx of 
population from and after that date was so extensive that to include those for 
any number of years subsequent would have made it impossible to keep the 
History within the prescribed limits. The Chapter on Geology, Mineralogy, 



Natural History, Botany, etc., was written by a higlily educated and scholarly 
gentleman, who, from his intimate and practical knowledge of these matters, is 
'eminently fitted for the task. The facts contained in that part of Chapter II 
referring to Antiquities and Pre-historic Man, were furnished by persons specially 
qualified to give correct and valuable information in relation to the subjects 
therein treated. The part of the same Chapter relating to Indian History, and 
the Chapter pertaining to the Civil "War and History of Regiments, were com- 
piled from the ofiicial records, and particular pains taken to make them accurate 
and detail the County's glorious share in the struggle of l861-'65. Especial 
care has also been taken to make Chapter lY, which relates to the history of 
Whiteside as a County, reliable and accurate. 

Col. R. L. Wilson, of Sterling, an old settler, and well known in the 
County, had for some years intended to publish a history of Whiteside. Of this 
I was not aware until after I presented my prospectus to the public in March 
last. Soon afterwards Col. Wilson and myself harmonized matters, and an ar- 
rano'ement was perfected whereby he was to furnish what historical matter he 
had prepared, and devote himself to the interests of this work. He has fur- 
nished the facts and biographical data from which were written the histories of 
Grenesee and Jordan; a portion of the facts and biographical data from which 
were written the histories of Hopkins, Lyndon and Sterling; the biographical 
data incorporated in the history of Coloma, and a part of the biographical data 
included in the histories of Clyde, Hume, and Mt. Pleasant. In this connection 
it is but just to accord credit to Frank Cushing, Esq., of Portland, for provid- 
ing the facts and biographical data from which were written the histories of 
Portland and Prophetstown. Grateful acknowledgements are due to George 
Terwilliger, Esq., formerly editor of the Sterling Gazette, and Fulton Jour- 
nal, and to Dr. W. H. Boals, late local editor of the Whiteside Sentinel, for 
their special and valuable aid in the preparation of this History. For the kind- 
ness and consideration met with from the many to whom I have applied for in- 
formation and material to engraft in the work, no words of mine can duly com- 
pensate. Upon all sides I have been greeted with well wishes and hopes for 
success. If success has been attained, the greater part of it is owing to this 
generous aid and appreciation. 

I thank the citizens of the County for their generous patronage thus far 
bestowed, and trust merit enough may be found within the book to repay them 
for their confidence and support. Hoping that it will prove all that is ex- 
pected, and that errors from circumstance will be overlooked, I remain, 





Gcolofjy— Limestones— Fcal— Mineral Sprinjjs — Artesian Wells — Mineralogy — Kconoinical CJcology — 

Notes— Natural History — Botany y 


Antiquities and Pre-liistoric Man — Indian History 31 


Civil War of iS6i-"65 — History of Reg-iments — Sth Cavalry — 13th Infantry— 34tli Infantry — 46th Infan- 
try— J^d Infantry— 7sth Infantry — 93d Infantry — 140th Infantry — i47tn Infantry — is6th Infantry... 40 


Name of County — Geographical Description — Early Organization — Precincts — Early Records— First 
Officers — County Commissioners' Court— Township Organization— Board of Supervisors— County 
Seat Affairs— County Buildings— Circuit Court— Probate and County Courts — Early Life of Pion- 
eers, and Incidents — Annexation to Wisconsin— Marriage Licenses — First Instruments Recorded — 
Early Votes — Railroads — Claim Societies and their Objects — The Tornado of 1S60— Swamp Land 
Matters — Agricultural Societies— Whiteside County Gninge — Old Settlers' Association — Caledo- 
nian Club— County Bible Society— Sunday School Association — Congressional Districts— Senato- 
rial and Representative Districts— List of County Officers— Statistics, Population, Etc— Public 
School Affairs— Vote of 1S76 53 


History of Albany Townshi[), and Village — Societies — Biographical 109 

History ofColoma Township — Biographical— History of Rock Falls — Nurseries— Manufacturing Es- 
tablishments — Newspapers— Churches and other Organizations 126 


History of Clyde Township — Biographical 140 


History of Erie Township — Biographical — History of Erie Village — Churches and Societies 147 


History of Fulton Township— History of the City of Fulton — Newspapers — Churches and other Or- 
ganizations — Biographical 150 


History of Fenton Township — Pratt— F"enton Center — Biographical 193 


History of Garden Plain Township— Biographical 205 


History ot Genesee Township — Biographical — Coleta ii? 


History of Hahnaman Township — Deer Grove — Biographical 232 

History of Hume Township — Biographical 237 


History of Hojjkins Township— Coino— Gait — Empire — Biographical 243 


History of Jordan Township — Biographical 257 



History of Lyndon Township--Biograi)h!C.'iI--Village of Lyndon 26.S 


History of Mt. Pleasant Township — Biog:raphical — History of the City of Morrison — Ncwsjxipers — 
Churches and other Organizations — biographical '. .' 291 


History of Montmorency Township — Biographical.. . 326 

History of Newton Township— Biographical 333 

History of Portland Township — Biographical 341 


History of Prophetstown Township— History of the Town of Prophetstown— Newspapers— Churches 
and Societies — Biographical 363 


History of Sterling Township — Biographical--History ot the City of Sterling — Newspapers— Manu- 
facturing Establishments — Churches and other Organizations— Biographical 390 


History of Tampico Township — Biographical— History of the Village of Tarapico— Newspapers- 
Churches and other Organizations 451 


History of Ustick Township — Biographical • 462 


History of Union Grove Township— Biographical 473 


History of the State of Illinois 4S7 

Bill of Rights— Descent of Property— Exemption Law— Limitation Law— Organization of Corpor- 
' ations — Fence Law— Estray Law — Lost Goods, Money, Etc — Weights and Measures — Marketing 
Products — Game Law — F"ish Law 5°' 


Precinct Organization— Old Settlers' Association— Presentation bv Hon. E. B. Washburne ef the Por 

trait of the Indian Chief " Prophet' ' to Whiteside County 509 

Errata and Addenda 533 

Index WS 


Cli AFTER 1. 

Geology — Limestones — Peat — Mineral Springs — Artesian Wklls- 
>JiNERALO(n' — Natural History — Botany. 


No history can be complete without a notice of the geography and geology 
of the region in which the events transpire. The occupation of a people, the 
growth and prosperity of a community, the development of institutions all 
depend in no small degree on the soil, climate and mineral resources of the 
country. A country possessing neither coal, nor water-power, will be very un- 
likely to become a center of manufacturing industry. A land possessing a 
sterile soil will not attract a colony of farmers. We may safely predict with- 
out fear of being charged with a claim to the gift of prophecy that the Desert 
of Sahara Avill never be the seat of empire. The movement of armies, the 
location of fortresses, the direction of great lines of travel, are all more or less 
influenced by the position of mountain chains, rivers and plains, and not infre- 
quently these form the dividing line between different nationalities. 

Geology describes the structure of our globe, the material of which it is 
composed, the manner of its arrangement, and the causes which have operated to 
give it its present form. It also embraces a description of the minerals found 
and of the organic remains entombed in the various strata. In the language of 
geology not only hard material such as sandstone and limestone are called rocks, 
but also clay, loose sand and gravel; hence the word rock must not be understood 
to imply hardness or density of any certain degree. The surface of our globe 
is composed of a great variety of material, but by far the largest part of it in 
Whiteside County is referable to one of three types, viz: sandstone, limestone 
and clay, and indeed nearly all of the rocks of the globe, however different their 
appearance, may be arranged under these three heads. The limestones are 
often called calcareous rocks, the sandstones or those containing much sandy or 
silieious matter arenaceous rocks, and those composed largely of clay, or alumina, 
argillaceous rocks. 

Rocks are divided into tM-o great classes — stratified and unstratified. or 
those found in layers or beds and those which occur in masses with no appear- 
ance of beds. These layers or beds are called strata. The true unstratified 
rocks arc of volcanic origin, but in some cases immense masses of stratified 
rocks have been clianged by pressure and heat and have lost all traces of their 
original stratification. Rocks are fui'ther divided into fossiliferous — containing 



fo^sih remains of animals and plants imbedded in them and more or less per- 
fectly preserved; unfossiliferous— containing no fossils. The rocks are grouped 
into -ages " •■ periods' and '• epochs," distinguished from each other by the 
fossils which they contain, for the different strata differ very greatly one from 
another in the character of these " 3Iedals of Creation.' The following table 
gives the names of the ages, periods and epochs, and the most prominent charac- 
teristics of each, as given by Prof. J. D. Dana, in his Manual of Geology, second 
edition, p. U2. the nomenclature being in the main that of the New \ ork State 
Natural History and Geological Survey: 



Represented in Whiteside. 

j.^ 1 Cunadi 


Mostly crystalline rocks— J Of these strata there a 
granite, gneiss, &c. I no outcrops in lUinoi 

f Primordial, 

I or Cambrian. 

t Potsdam. 
I Calciferous 
-, Quebec. 
{ Chazy. 


Arenaceous limestone. 
\ These strata vary in character 
sometimes being limestones, 
at others sandstones. 

■ At Utica, 
La Salle Co. 

J St. 

■i Utica. 
( Cincinnati. 



Shaly limestones. 

f At the bottom of Dr. Pen- 
( nington's Quarry, Jordan. 

I Medina. 
I Niagara. 

Sandstone in New York. 
Limestone and shale. 

Lower Helder- 

Lower Helder- 



( Caudi Galli Grit. 
J. Schoharie. 
( Corniferous. 


( Marcellus. 
< Hamilton. 
I Genesee. 


I Portage. 
"/ Chemung. 


Sandstones and Shales. 

Sub Carbonif. J ^ ■ 

crous. ] Millstone Grit. 

I CarDoniferous. j Lower Coal Measures. 
I 1 Upper '• 

I Permian. Permian. 



The epochs of these periods are of no interest to 
the general reader. 

Largely developed west of the Mississippi, in 
Texas and Northern Alabama and Mississippi. 

-I All Wanting. 

Age of 

-| Tertiary. 

I Eocene. 
< Miocene. 
I Pliocene. 

Age of 


1 Glacial. 
■< Champlain. 
( Terrace. 


It will be seen from the above table that only a small part of the geological 
series is represented in this county, and that the members present do not follow 
one another closely in the order of time, but are separated by wide intervals — 
mighty chasms of which we have no record. In no part of the earth is the 
series complete. In some regions one part is fully developed, in others another. 
Thus in New York the oldest formations up to the carboniferous are well rep- 
resented; in Florida only the last or newest strata appear; in Illinois but small 
tracts are found of anything newer than the carboniferous. Why should this 
be? At present deposits are going on only along the coasts of the continents 
and some islands, and especially at the mouths of rivers and in the basins of 
lakes. It is now known that in the depths of the ocean only a very thin 
deposit is forming, and that of a very peculiar character, such in fact as the 
rocks of the globe show very little resemblance to. Sandstones are in all cases 
as far as we know found in shallow water, bays, or on coasts where the sea 
deepens very slowly. Limestones of the common type seem to be restricted to 
a depth not exceeding 100 feet, while the work of calcareous sponges is probably 
never actively prosecuted at depths of 1000 feet. Clays were probably in gen- 
eral comparatively deep water formations; that is, formed at depths of 200 to 
500 feet. 

The lowest and oldest rocks exposed in Whiteside County belong to the 
Trenton Period. It consists of 1st, the Trenton Epoch; 2d. the Utica Epoch; 
and 3d, the Cincinnati, formerly called the Hudson River. Epoch. The Tren- 
ton limestone is the equivalent of the Galena beds of the Illinois Geological 
survey, and is slightly developed in the extreme northern part of Genesee and 
.Jordan Townships. There are some exposures of it, we are informed, but it 
possesses little interest for us. The Cincinnati Group appears at the base of 
the Rock River bluffs at Sterling, in the bed of the river, and in the banks of 
some ravines and streams. Its most noted exposure is on the premises of Dr. 
L. S. Pennington, section 32, Jordan, about four miles north of Sterling. Here 
about twelve feet of soil and clay cover these beds, followed by some three feet 
of soft, much broken, thin bedded rock. Below these the beds are thicker, but 
generally not exceeding a few inches— six to nine — and make splendid flag- 
ging, it being possible to procure sheets of any size that can be handled. Passing 
through about twelve feet of these beds we come upon a stratum of dark col- 
ored, very cellular, hard and heavy limestone, partially crystalline in structure, 
and the cavities lined with small, amber colored crystals, probably a colored 
calcite. This is about one foot thick. There is also a layer containing multi- 
tudes of small cavities, the inside of which are an iron rust red or ferrous color, 
while the rock itself is a light buff. Below these is a blue shaly rock, the Cin- 
cinnati shales, rich in fossils, being almost entirely made up of strophomena, 
orthis, ehjBtetes, &c. The upper beds in some of the strata abound in sea-weeds 
or fucoids, but contain no other fossils. These fucoids seem to be of one spe- 
cies, but our examination was very superficial and there may be several species 
represented. The Trenton Limestone is not known to be exposed except in the 
northeast part of Jordan. It is said to contain few fossils. We visited none 
of its outcrops. There is a quarry on section 3, Hopkins, also owned by Dr. 
Pennington, in the Cincinnati rocks. The shales are of course of no value, as 
they soon crumble into a shapeless mass when exposed to the action of the at- 

The Niagara limestone is well exposed on sections 5. 8, 7, 13, Ustick, in 
the Mississippi bluffs, and through this township, Garden Plain and Albany to 
the Marais de Ogee; in Fulton on sections 21, 27 and 28; in Newton on sections 
22 and 25; in Mt. Pleasant on section 7; in Union Grove on section 12; in 


Clyde on section 13: in Genesee on section 34, at Lyndon and below Erie, on 
Rock River. It also underlies in all probability the whole south eastern part 
of the County; in Ustick. at Robertson's and Martindale's quarries, section 13. 
and at other points in these townships, and also at Sterling in the banks of 
Rock River, and on section 17, Portland, on the farm of Chas. Atwood. It 
consists of two members: 1st. a thin-bedded, dark-colored, coarse-grained, im- 
pure limestone, exposed at Albany, at the steamboat landing, and abounding in 
the heads of crinoids of several species; 2d, a thick-bedded, buff-colored, fine- 
grained, hard, cellular limestone, in parts abounding in corals, pentameri and 
remains of crinoids, but much of it is entirely made up of undistinguishable 
fragments of shells and corals, closely resembling the coral reef rock of the 
Pacific Islands now in process of formation. There are many local differences. 
In some places the strata arc A'ery cherty or flinty, as in Newton, a half mile 
south of Center school-house; very white, as at a point two miles southeast of 
Center school-house; thin-bedded and much broken, as in Mt. Pleasant; soft 
and yellow, as in places on section 5, Ustick, and at Albany. On sec. 12, Union 
(xrove. and sec. 7, Mt. Pleasant, there is a band of shalyrock that may be capable 
of being manufactured into water-lime, but the stratum is too thin to be valu- 
able. These rocks generally occupy a nearly horizontal position, the beds being 
of a neai'ly uniform thickness, and differing over considerable areas in color, 
structure and composition but slightly. It will be seen in our synopsis of the 
strata given above that the Niagara Period is composed of three members — 
epochs — the Medina, Clinton and Niagara; but these have not been satisfactorily 
made out in the Mississippi Valley. In New York, the Medina is a peculiar 
sandstone, the Clinton, sandstone and shales, and the Niagara a thick, dark- 
colored limestone, well developed at Lockport, Niagara Falls and other points. 
The distinctioji between these strata does not seem to exist in our territory, and 
there is some reason to believe that between the Trenton Period and the 
Niagara there was a time when the surface of our County was dry land. But 
it may be that the conditions which gave origin to the differences noted in the 
strata of New York did not exist here, and that the work of forming strata 
went on continuously, or it may be that the record has not been as carefully 
studied as it should be, and that more rigorous examination may reveal some 
facts not yet noted that will enable us to mark out the limits of each epoch 

It will be observed that the Grcological map accompanying Warner & Beers' 
map of Illinois does not correspond in the limits assigned to certain strata with 
the map accompanying A'^olume VI of the Illinois State Geological Report, nor 
does the latter exactly correspond with the treatise on the Geology of the 
County contained in Volume V of the Report. These discrepancies indicate a 
want of knowledge on the subject not at all creditable to the teachers of White- 
side. Moreover, we can learn of no extensive collection of the rocks and fossils 
of the County. We hope sonic one will make an effort in this direction. 

The Niagara in the bluffs of the Mississippi presents itself in a multitude 
f)f picturesque forms, forming bold mural cliffs, frowning precipices, massive 
Cyclopean walls, lofty towers, huge pylons, rugged buttresses, grand arches, long 
stretches of lichen covered, nionldering ruins, and along the Rock River at 
Sterling, over-hanging cliff's of no great altitude — twenty-five to thirty feet. 
Frequently some of the strata are much softer than others, and the gradual dis- 
integration of these soft beds gives the face of the bluff' a most fantastic aspect. 
Bv the joint action of water and frost some of the joints have been much 
enlarged, and in one case, we ai*e informed that a considerable sized cave has 
been formed. In another case a fissure several inches in width has been filled 


with Htalactitic matter, forming a rock, beautifully banded with brown and 
white and of a delicate Htructure, forming most elegant cabinet specin)en,s. 

Limestone, as far as we know, is formed through the agency of organized 
beings, the polyps and the mollusks being the great producers of this material, 
which although existing in sea water is never deposited in beds from it except 
through the instrumentality of these insignificant builders, and in the form of 
coral or the shells of shell-fish. 

Wherever mollusks like the oyster, clam, &c., live and flourish, vast deposits 
(tf their shells are accumulated, in time forming strata which seem to be almost 
exclusively made up of shells, generally of a single species. Where the shells 
remain on the spot where they were formed they are generally entire, and if 
the shells have decayed perfect casts, showing the internal structure, remain. 
In such places corals are seldom found, they preferring a surf-beaten shore to 
quiet waters. Where the shells have been rolled by the waves, they are nu)re 
or less broken and sometimes even ground to powder, not a fragment large 
enough for identification remaining. In these exposed places, where the sea 
rolls its waves continuously on the unprotected beach, and the temperature 
never falls below 68 ^ F., the coral grows most luxuriantly, forming vast reefs 
which grow upward to a point about half way between low and high water mark, 
as the polyps can live even when exposed to the rays of the sun for a couple 
of hours at a time. The corals do not grow thriftily in water over one hundred 
feet deep, and most reefs are formed in depths much less than this; conse- 
quently a coral formation cannot be over one hundred feet thick if the water 
has remained of the same depth during its formation. But such reefs are foixnd 
over 1,000 feet thick, and we can conceive of no other method by which they 
could have been built up except that the sea-bottom must have sunk about as 
fast as the reef grew upward. Had the subsidence been more rapid the polyps 
would have been drowned when the depth reached about 100 feet. Had it 
sunk more slowly they would have built above the waves and been scorched by 
the sun's rays. Corals also require clear water, mud-laden currents being fatal 
to these delicate children of the sea. Mollusks of many species, on the con- 
trary, choose mud-banks as the place of their abode, and flourish in the turbid 
waters of rivers and estuaries; but some species require clear water and a sandy 
bottom, while some pass life attached to a rock or piece of wood, or to the shell 
of another mollusk, but any one species is always found surrounded by the same 

From the foregoing statements it will be seen that we have a key to the 
physical condition under which a rock was formed. If it abounds in unbroken 
shells we may conclude that it was formed in still water of no great depth, for 
mollusks do not flourish at great depths, especially those living gregariously or 
in groups. We should therefore conclude that the Albany beds ^vere deposited 
in still water which became turbid, destroyed the crinoids, and furnished the 
earthy impurities contained in this rock. The upper beds were a great coral 
reef along whose extended line many species of zoophytes flourished. Among 
the species represented here Halysites catenulata, Halysites gracilis, Strom- 
atopora of several species. Zaphrentis of four or more species, Chonophyllum, 
Chaetetes, Ptilodycta, iVulopora and other genera are very abundant, the rock be- 
ing an aggregation of the remains of these frail architects. The Pentamerus beds, 
and of these there are two certainly, pei'haps three, were deposited in still water, 
sheltered bays or coves. In some cases what may be a bed abounding in shells 
in one place may be a coral reef in another, the coast at one point having been 
sheltered, at the other exposed, or a river having entered the sea at one place, 
while the waters were pure and clear at the other. As we examine the splendid 


exposures of the Niagara on sections 5. 8 and 7, in IJstick, we get a very good 
idea of the changes that passed over this region, and can trace the passage 
from one condition to another as well as if the change was taking place before 
our eyes. The material of which the rocks are made up were deposited along 
the shore, and as the Niagara forms the surface over much of this County, and 
to the north and west, while to the south-west it is covered by newer beds, 
we infer that the ocean lay to the south-west, and it may liave been both 
broad and deep. It may have been a vast congeries of islands in part as we 
now find to be the case over much of the great coral growing zone of the 
Pacific Ocean; but as far as the strata of Whiteside are concerned, it seems to 
have been a continuous belt, perhaps a great barrier reef, such as to-day walls 
in the north eastern coast of the Australian Continent. If the ancient Zoo- 
phytes Avere as sensitive as those of the present day they must have required a 
temperature like that of Southern Florida — a climate "in which there was no 
winter and which knew no lower temperature than 68 ^ F.; but we are not 
justified in deciding that this region rejoiced in so genial a climate, for the 
fossil corals differ in structure from those now living, and they may have been 
able to endure changes that would at once destroy the Zoophytes of the present 
day. In the vast quantity of sea-weeds preserved in the beds of Pennington's 
quarry, and quarries at Sterling, we have the best of evidence that vegetable as 
well as animal life was well, very well represented in these seas. The chert 
beds were no doubt, in part at least, the work of sponges; but as far as we know 
no remains of these organisms have yet been described from these strata, and 
while we suspect their presence we cannot confidently assert it. 

In both Union Grove and Mt. Pleasant there are few fossils except at 
particular horizons. In both places we find a stratum varying in thickness from 
eighteen inches to two feet, almost wholly made up of a small shell not over a 
fourth of an inch long. The shells have generally disappeared and only casts 
remain, and the rock looks as open as a honey comb and has the appearance of 
being scarcely strong enough to hold together. It is nevertheless very hard 
and dense, and is said to make a good lime. Several other shells and a very 
singular coral occurs at both Masons and Cochran's quarries, in the former, iii 
the lowest bed worked. The following gives, as far as we have investigated 
the subject, the names of all the fossils obtained from these strata: 

1. Protozoons: Sponges of genus Stromatopara, Stromatopara concentrica. 

2. Radiates: Polyps (corals), Favosites niagarense, Halysites catenulata, 
Chonophyllum niagarense, Zaphrentes ^bilateralis, and two or three others, 
Heliolites spinopora, Aulapora, Chfetetes, Ptilodycta. 

3. Mollusks: (a) ■ Bryozoans; Fenestella — a delicate coral, (b) Brach- 
iopods — ^Pentamerus oblongus, two forms, Atrypa nodostriata, Rhynchonella 
cuneata, Orthis bilobus, Spirifer sulcatus, and pi'obably Spirifer niagarensis. (c) 
Lamellibranch.s — -probably Megalomus canadensis, Avicula emacerata. (d) 
Gasteropods — Platyostoma niagarensis, Maclurea, one species, (e) Pteropods 
— none known from these beds. (/) Cepholopads — Orthoceros, Ormoceros, 

4. Articulates — Some trilobites are said to have been found, probably 
Calymene niagarensis. 

Plants — Fucoids in some of the beds, especially at Sterling. 

With the Niagara period closes the work of continent building for a long 
period in Whiteside County. Not until the opening of the carboniferous age 
does there appear to have been any change of which nature has made an entry 
in her records. For ages its surface had been dry land. Had it been covered 
by the waters there would have been some strata deposited to tell the story. 


But at the beginning of the Carboniferous Period a shallow estuary, bordered 
by marshes, extended from Mineral Springs, Newton township, northeastwardly 
to Uniouville, and probably eastwardly from thence several miles into Hopkins. 
In this valley some strata, in all about forty feet thick — irregularly bedded sand- 
stones varying much in hardness, color and composition, interstratified with 
beds of quite pure clay were formed. These strata are sometimes len- 
ticular — thick at a given point and thinning rapidly each way until they are 
but five or six inches thick, then rapidly thickening up to eighteen or twenty 
inches again. Some of the strata are however of nearly uniform thickness 
throughout. The clay beds are thin, but in places six to eight inches thick. 

Lying on the sandstone is a thin bed of curious appearance, dark buff in 
color, irregular in thickness, and quite hard. It seems to be formed of thin 
layers alternately dark yellowish brown and light gray, is from two to five 
inches thick, the upper surface very uneven and the body of the rock full of 
cavities and what seem to be cracks. It contains many angular fragments of 
sandstone and some small gravel. The surface of the sandstone below it is 
generally comparatively smooth, and the fragments found in it are of the same 
material as the beds on which it lies. Evidently at some time the upper beds 
of the sandstone have been carried away by some force which tore them up 
and ground much of them to sand and small pebbles. We are of the opinion that 
this stratum is increasing in thickness at the present time and is of narrow 
extent. It is an argillaceous limestone. These sandstones were probably 
formed in a marshy tract which received the drainage of the surround- 
ing country. At times there seems to have been very little vegetation 
growing in this region, and we judge the sands formed banks which the wind 
drifted, as some of the ripple marking is much more like that produced by the 
action of the wind than that of water. These rocks are rich in fossils, but 
wholly of plants; no trace of animals being found except the burrows of a 
worm; but of plants many species occur. Most of the specimens are poorly 
preserved, but some very fine ones have been obtained at Burr's quarry. They 
consist of 1st, Sigillaria — huge trees — seventy feet long and two feet in diameter, 
of at least four species, perhaps more; 2nd, Lepidodendra — also great trees as 
large as the preceding, and also of two or more species; 3rd, Calamites — great 
rushes — three or four inches in diameter and ten to twelve feet high; 4th, in 
the clays are found what appear to be coarse grasses, probably Cordaites, and 
also the fruit of some plant resembling Cardiocarpus; a few fragments of ferns 
have been found in the clay well preserved, but they are very uncommon. 
There are no shells or other remains of animals as far as known to the writer. 
Some of the strata contain numerous cavities filled with a soft, bluish, tenacious 
clay. They form bands in the rock, being confined to certain strata and to a 
particular part of them. They vary much in size, but are very generally of an 
almond shape and quite regular in outline. There are also nodules of a hard, 
red sandstone almost always filled Avith a fine white sand. 

The fossils are most abundant in the upper stratum, and as they are very 
generally quite imperfect, we believe them to have been ti-ansported to this 
spot from some other locality. Those found below do not seem to have been 
defaced by rubbing against rocks or each other, and probably grew near the 
place where they are now found. This formation was without doubt, at one 
time, much more extensive than it now is, and we presume contained thin 
seams of coal, as fragments of coal are found in the clays above, as well as con- 
siderable masses of sandstone, which evidently came from this deposit; while 
much of the clay is of a black color, having a very decided bituminous look, 
and we believe obtained this tinge from the coal contained in the strata, which 


were at some time in the past destroyed. We presume that the subcarbonifer- 
ous strata once extended much farther nortli. at least into Carroll County if not 
farther. During the coal age we know from the evidence afforded by other 
localities that the sea and land both swarmed with life. Corals, mollusks, fishes 
and air breathing reptiles certainly existed, and some insects and spiders have 
left proof of their- presence. There were no birds, no mammals. The life 
of the land was in its prominent forms wholly vegetable. The forests must 
have been quite as dense as the tangled jungles of the Sundevbunds of the 
Granges, or the banks of the Amazon and Rio Xegro. A warm, moist climate 
must have prevailed, and polar and tropical regions could have differed but 
little in temperature. But it must be borne in mind that we only infer this to 
have been the case, and that New Zealand in Lat. 35 "^ to 50 ^ south is the 
paradise of tree ferns which more nearly resemble the plants of the coal age than 
any others now living. Hence a mean temperature of 50 ^ F. and perhaps even 
lower, may have been sufficient to give being to the giant forests of the car- 
boniferous age. 

No true coal measures exist in Whiteside County, and all .searches for 
this mineral will, we are sure, prove in vain. The search for petroleum will 
probably also prove a failure, and those who imagine that because these sub- 
stances are found in other places they must also occur here, will be disap- 
pointed in the search. The mere fact that rocks exist does not prove that they 
are coal-bearing. There are certain strata to which certain minerals are almost 
exclusively confined, and it is the maddest folly to look for these substances 
outside the limits assigned them by nature. Hence in an economical point of view 
the study of geology becomes of vast importance, and has not only a theoreti- 
cal but a pecuniai-y value. 

Overlying the surface of the county is a deposit of clays, gravel and sand, 
varying much in thickness — from five to fifty feet. They are often unstratified, 
contain fragments of strange rocks, such as are found here only in rounded and 
smoothed masses mixed with these materials, and always bearing evidence of 
having been worn and almost polished by the attrition of other sub.stances. 
The sands and gravels indicate currents of water, for sand can be borne along 
only by moving waters, and the coarser the material to be transported the 
stronger must the current be. The clays Avere deposited in still waters, for 
only in such are deposits of this kind formed. The great blocks must have 
been carried along by some means other than the current of a river or the force 
of waves, and we can conceive of no other agent except ice in the form of a glacier 
that is capable of producing such results as the records of Nature's archives 
declare were effected over vast tracts of country. The force producing these 
results came from the north, for the blocks of stone scattered over the county, 
and much of the material of the gravel beds came from localities 300 miles 
north of this; and as we proceed south we find these strange rocks becoming- 
smaller and less numerous, and at last disappearing altogether; while if we 
travel northward we shall find them becoming more numerous and larger, and 
we may trace them to the very ledges from which they were torn. A great 
glacier — an enormous mass of snow and ice — covering the whole northern part 
of the continent down to this latitude and even farther, seems to be the only 
agent capable of effecting such vast effects as we witness here. The center of 
this glacial force we believe to have been at a point not far from west of the 
southern point of James' Bay in British America, and northeast of Lake Supe- 
rior, for to this point the lines of travel pursued by the drift converge, the 
courses being included between S. 40 ° E. and S. 40 ® W., the former course 
prevailing in the eastern part of the country, the latter west of New York 


State. The course varied at different times, and where the glacier left its auto- 
graph in deeply engraved characters upon the rocks themselves in the shape of 
a smoothed surface, grooves as straight as a line and perfectly parallel, and 
numberless tine lines knovi'n as scratches or strife, we find that there is some- 
times more than one set of them and that they cross each other at a high angle. 

Lying well toward the base of this drift deposit is a'stratum of leaves, 
branches, and trunks of trees. On the farm of Dr. L. S. Pennington, of Jordan, 
we were shown a place on the bank of Klkhorn Creek where a buried forest 
has been partly exhumed. The trees seem to have been overthrown by some 
force from the west, and to have been soon after covered with water and buried 
in a deposit of marl which contains great numbers of fresh water shells. Home 
of the trunks are eight inches in diameter. Where exposed to the air they do 
not decay rapidly, although very soft. The grain is as clearly defined as if they 
were just cut down, and in some cases the bark can yet be discerned. No 
leaves or fruit have been observed. At several places in the county in digging 
wells a similar deposit has been pas.sed through. It is sometimes six feet thick, 
and the leaves so well preserved that their outlines and venation can easily be 
made out, and the wood is often (|uite strong. Much of it seems to be derived 
from cone-bearing species, but the leaves of trees closely related to our decid- 
uous forest trees also occur. In some cases the wood is much broken, and 
seems to have been transported a long distance, or to have been floating about 
for a long time; but it often presents few traces of abrasion and cannot have 
been carried far from where it grew. This stratum is without doubt derived 
from the Tertiary forests, and if our beds were only carefully studied additions 
to our knowledge of fossil botany might be expected. AVe would suggest to 
those who read this article that should they have an opportunity to gather up 
and preserve some of these fragments, they do it and forwai'd specimens to the 
publisher of this work, at Morrison. In this way their examination and preser- 
vation may be secured. The material of which these strata are formed was 
produced by the crushing and grinding action of the glacier as it slid slowly 
forward over the surface, and the sorting and transporting of sand, gravel and 
clay was eifccted by the water which always issues from beneath the icy mass; 
but the greater part of this task was performed by the torrents that appear to 
have deluged the land when the ice king resigned his scepter, and his gigantic 
works melted away before the genial breath of a milder climate. 

It is easy to theorize with regard to the causes that produced this change 
that ushered in the glacial age. We know that the distribution of land and 
water has much to do with climate, that the more broken up the land into 
islands, the more equable the temperature, Avhereas great masses of land have 
an extreme or variable climate — a very cold winter and a hot summer, and that 
great bodies of land extending far north seem to become vast reservoirs of cold. 
Hence, it has been conjectured that in the eras when a mild climate seems to 
have prevailed, the land was broken up into small bodies, much as it is in the 
region of mild temperature in the South Pacific. Another theory attributes 
the change to the variability in form of the earth's orbit. It is certain that it 
oscillates between the circle and an elongated ellipse, this oscillation requiring 
for a complete revolution about 1,450,000 years. Its effect is to change the 
relative length of seasons, to bring the earth nearer to the sun at one time than 
at another, and to cause the time of nearest approach to the sun to occur some- 
times in summer, sometimes in winter. At present we are about 3,000,000 
miles nearer the sun December 21st than June 21st, and our summer is about 
eight days longer than that of the Southern Hemisphere, giving us a higher 
summer temperature than is experienced by lands south of the equator. The 



more common opinion is that the lands of the north polar regions became, about 
the beginning of the drift period, both more extensive and higher than they 
were previously or are at present, and that this caused a great change of climate, 
extending over a great period of time. It will be observed that in the table 
of periods we have three epochs, the Glacial, the Champlain, and tlie Terrace. 
The first of these covers the period in which the glaciers covered the land; the 
second was the period of the retreat of the glacier and the beginning of a 
milder climate, and was probably an age of subsidence or sinking down of the 
land; and the third covers the time in which the present valleys were cut and 
the rivers began to pursue their present courses. Of course the latter process 
may have been in progress at one point while the glaciers covered another, and 
as the melting of so vast a body of ice must from necessity have occupied a 
long time, the streams were of greater volume for a considerable period than 
they are at present. As the drift deposits occur everywhere it is unnecessary 
to enumerate localities, but one place deserves mention: About a mile and a 
half southeast of Albany village is a considerable tract of low wet land on which 
is found several large blocks, one of them the largest we know of. If our memory 
is to be relied on the dimensions are about eighteen feet high, sixteen feet 
long and twelve feet wide, containing about 3,000 cubic feet and weighing in 
the neighborhood of 200 tons. Several blocks weighing from five to twenty tons 
lie near this one, and a great many smaller ones are scattered about in the 

Along some of the streams is a deposit of sandy loam containing the shells 
of the fresh water molluska now living in the streams. In the great 3Iarais de 
Ogee Slough flat covering a part of Erie township, and with the Cat-tail Slough 
bottom part of Newton and Fenton, this deposit is ten to twelve feet in depth. 
In some places it is now a drifting sand as soon as the sod is broken, as is well 
shown in the southwest part of Newton and near Erie village. In other places it 
contains some argillaceous material and is more tenacious, supporting a luxuriant 
vegetation of peculiar plants. In the west part of Garden Plain is a similar 
tract where the warring winds have worked wonders, scooping out great hollows, 
piling up fantastic hills, raising almost perpendicular walls of sand, and burying 
trees almost to their topmost twigs. These loams and sands are alluvial for- 
mations, and were deposited by the streams along whose course they are found. 

The peculiar clays and loams forming the upper part of the Mississippi 
bluffs is by some considered to be the equivalent of the loess of the Rhine val- 
ley. At the time of its deposit the Mississippi could have laid no claim to the 
name of river. It was rather a long, comparatively narrow lake if the relative 
level of various points was then the same as at present. The Peat beds of 
Union Grove township appear to belong to the alluvial period. They occupy a 
part of the Cat-tail Slough bottom, are not far from a mile wide by over six 
miles long and in greatest thickness over twenty feet. There are other deposits 
in the county, but this is by far the most important. 

The composition of true limestone — carbonate of lime — is given by J. 1>. 
Dana, Manual of Geology, 2d edition, page 7, as carbonic acid 44, lime 50. Hut 
the limestone of the Mississippi Valley differs from this in being not a carbon- 
ate of lime but a carbonate of lime and magnesia. The lower niagnesian of St. 
Croix, Wisconsin, is made up of carbonate of lime 48.24, carbonate of magnesia 
42.43, oxyd of iron, sand and alumina 8.84, moisture 0.40. It is therefore a 
dolomyte or magnesian limestone. The composition of dolomytc as given by 
the sanie jvvithority, page 56, is, carbonate of lime 54.4, carbonate of magnesia 

PEAT. 19 

45.6. To this type, the precise amount of magnesia varying, all our limestones 
conform. The hydraulic limestones, as will be seen from the following analysis, 
from same work, page 75, also contains some magnesia, carbonic acid 34.2, lime 
25.5, magnesia 12.35, silica (flint) 15.37, alumina (clay) 9.13, sesquioxyd of iron 
2.25 — specimens from Rondout, New York, a locality noted for the manufac- 
ture of cements. It is claimed by some of the highest authorities that a certain 
per centage of magnesia is essential to the excellence of water limes, those 
containing it setting more readily, especially under water, than those in which 
it is wanting, and also becoming harder in time. The tltica, Illinois, water 
lime is composed of water 3.00, carbonate of lime 43.56, carbonate of magnesia 

30.07, clay, alumina, 20.00, free silica 1.00, carbonate of iron 2.00, potash .18. 
(^Geological Siirvci/ of Illinois^ Volume Ill^poge 151.) The limestones of White- 
side are of very different quality, even the different strata of the same locality 
possessing very different properties. Mr. Cochran informs us that he has at 
least three grades of stone in his quarry about a mile north of Morrison, and that 
they differ greatly as to the time required to burn them properly, their slacking, 
&c. With one variety of it air slacking seems to be advantageous, as we were 
shown a wall, the lime used in making which had been air slacked, which is 
sound and hard, while another made of the satne lime, not air slacked, is cracked 
and soft. A study of the chemical composition of these rocks would probably 
richly repay the owners and save them some expensive and unremunerative ex- 
periments. Mr. Cochran informed us that a stratum which another gentleman 
had asserted would not make lime, makes an extra fine article, when properly 
treated, an intense heat being required to prepare it. Lime is the oxyd of 
calcium — a yellowish metal, harder than lead, melting at a red heat, and very 
malleable. It soon tarnishes from its great afiinity for oxygen and is seen only 
as a chemical curiosity. With this oxyd carbonic acid very readily unites, 
forming limestone — carbonate of lime. It is a widely diffused substance — one 
of the most common in nature. It is the base of bone, coral and the shells of 
Mollusks. It is found in the waters of the ocean, in most hard waters in com- 
bination with many other substances. Carbonate of lime subjected to a strong 
heat looses its carbonic acid, which passes away as a gas and becomes the oxyd 
of calcium, or lime. 


In the Cat-tail Slough in Union Grove Township, is found an immense de- 
posit of excellent peat. The bed probably occupies what was once a small lake 
and is over six miles long by about a mile wide. A large part of this area is a 
peat bog or " moss " over twenty feet deep, and a large area furnishes peat of a 
superior quality. It has long been used as a fuel by the people of the vicinity 
to a limited extent, and for some years efforts have been made to bring it into 
the market by preparing it on a large scale. The old method of preparation — 
cutting it into blocks like bricks and drying them in the air — does not fit the 
article for carriage to any considerable distance, the bulk being much too great 
in proportion to the combustible matter contained. It was therefore determined 
to reduce the volume by pressure, and machinery was provided for the purpose, 
but as the material of peat, partially decomposed vegetable fibre, is very elastic 
and also absorbs a large quantity of water, it was found impossible to either re- 
duce it in bulk as much as was desirable or to deprive it of any considerable 
((uantity of the water held in combination. It was then determined to grind 
it, and to press the pulp or mud thus formed into blocks. This plan was more 
successful as the water was now more perfectly expelled, and the material was 
turned out in a much denser form. But the cheapness of coal, the much greater 

20 History of whiteside county. 

amount of combustible matter a given bulk of it contains, and the consequent 
ease of carriage have conspired, with the for years comparatively high price of 
labor, to render the demand small, and to confine the use of peat to a small 

Peat is partially decomposed vegetable matter, derived from the mosses of 
the genus Sphagnum, or in parts of our country of the genus Hypnum— spongy 
mosses of rapid growth, common in wet lands Avhich die below while growing 
vigorously above. Their stems or roots, and especially the last, are densely 
matted together, and with grasses and other plants found in such localities form 
in a comparatively short time, a large mass of material, and when partially 
protected from the action of the atmosphere by water is slowly changed to a 
semi-bituminous mass, a half coal so to speak, requiring only time and pressure 
to become coal. We give below an analysis of peat and also of bituminous coal 
from Dana's Manual of Greology, page 361, 2d edition. 

Carbon. Hydrogen. Oxygen. Nitrogen. 

Peat 59.5 5.5 33.0 * 2.0 

Coal 81.2 5.5 12.5 0.8 

Moss 49.88 6.54 42.42 1.16. This moss was a Sphagnum. 

The change to peat it will be seen involves a loss of oxygen, in 100 parts 
of almost 9 parts, so that the relative proportion of carbon is made to appear 
greater. The change to coal involves a further loss of 30 parts of oxygen in 
100, and a consequently great increase in the relative (juantity of carbon. 
There is also some loss of hydrogen as well as of nitrogen. 

The growth of peat is confined to temperate climates, as in tropical regions 
the process of decay is so rapid as to render the change to the semi-bituminous 
condition on the surface of the earth impossible, and if found under mud or 
sand the pressure and time would produce a true coal. Hence peat bogs are 
never found in warm regions. 

As peat is essentially of the same composition as coal it possesses all its 
heating qualities, and is only inferior to it in requiring a greater volume to pro- 
duce the same results, that is to heat or raise the temperature of a given quantity of 
any substance, as of water, to a given degree. It is quite free from sulphur; hence 
no sulphurous gasses are evolved. The combustion is perfect and very little soot 
is produced. It is thus for household purposes a much more desirable fuel than 
any ordinary bituminous coal, making much less dirt, and creating no unpleasant 
smell. It burns freely either in an open grate or a stove, and makes a cheerful 
hot fire. It is now manufactured at the point where the Albany road 
the Cat-tail, very powerful machinery being used to press it into blocks, 
the Union Grove deposit there arc others in this Ioav land tract, of less extent, 
said to be of ecjually good (juality. A deposit of small extent exists in the north 
part of Sterling, another in the township of Portland. Others of limited area 
are probably scattered about the sloughs not only of the loAvlands but also of the 
prairies, for peat is by no means confined to low lying lands — moderate tem- 
perature and abundance of water being the only re({uirements of its formation, 
and where these conditions exist, whether in the valley or on the mountain, 
there peat bogs are found. In many cases where it has been removed it has 
been known to again accumulate to a depth suflicicnt to be workable. Its rate 
of growth is slow and may of course vary with the conditions. Pieces of wood, 
stems of trees, leaves, bones, human bodies, the works of man, are found in these 
marshes. The waters of such morasses have the propei'ty of arresting the pro- 
cesses of decay and preserving substances, that under ordinary circumstances, 
would soon perish, and from them jnany curious articles have been exhumed. 


In this County we are not aware that any relics of much importance have been 
obtained up to this date, some bones of tlie Buffalo or Bison, as far as we can 
learn, being the only vestiges of animal life revealed. 

With a high price for coal, cheaj) labor and perfect appliances for com- 
pressing the peat, it must become an article of great c(mnnercial importance and 
prove a source of wealth and prosperity. 

The sphagnous mosses from which it has boeti formed yet flourish in these 
marshes, forming thick, tangled, spongy masses of a greyish green color, inter- 
spersed with scattered blades of a coarse, light green grass or narrow sedge 
about four feet high, and some orchideous plants, that at times enliven the 
dreary plain with their brilliant and peculiar flowers. Some tracts are covered 
with large dark green rushes — Juncacae — and the pools with a tall, somewhat 
oval leaved — ovate, acuminate — grass. This great bed at any season, as seen 
from the highlands bordering it, has a dreary, forbidding aspect, which the frosts 
of autumn intensifies by stripping them of the little variety of color they possess 
during the summer season. It is invisible to the traveler until he reaches its 
very border and then bursts upon him, like the creatiofi of a dream. The com- 
paratively narrow valley extending from near Fulton to the valley of Rock 
lliver, in Fenton, has much the appearance of a great river of greenish water 
sweeping with a slightly sinuous course toward the south east. It probably 
was at one time the bed of a great stream, and the cliff" on which Fulton now 
stands and the mass forming a part of Albany, Garden Plain, Fentoii and Xew- 
ton townships, were islands in its channel. The Mississippi we believe, at one 
time, in part through this valley, in part through the Marais de Ogee or Meredosia, 
flowed into Avhat is now a part of Rock River, but was then the Mississippi, 
until some convulsion shattered the rocky barrier that now forms the Rock 
Island Rapids, and the great River worked out for itself a more direct but less 
navigable channel. It seems to us that the rents in the rock of the Rapids 
clearly indicate a forcible rupture, rather than the gentle, Avearing action of 
running water, and are themselves a record of their origin in nature's own 
language, too often strangely perverted in meaning by her self-constituted in- 

Mineral Sprinus. 

The mineral springs of the county do not seem to have attracted much 
attention. We have heard of but few, and these have no reputation as far as 
we can leain for medicinal qualities. The most widely known is located in 
Newton township, and near it was bored a well in exploring for oil. A copious 
flow of water, clear, cold and sparkling was obtained, the same as that of the 
spring, charged with iron and sulphuretted hydrogen gas. The well is at the 
bottom of. a ravine, the rock of the bounding hills being a coarse-grained sub- 
carboniferous sandstone, soft, friable and full of water. The well, we believe, 
is about 70 feet deep. A greasy film often seen on the surface of such watei's, 
where they are collected in pools, led to the belief that oil was to be found here. 
We advise our readers to leave the search for petroleum in this region to those 
who have nothing else to do and money W'hich they arc anxious to get rid of. 
A similar spring exists near Hough's mill in Clyde. These waters would prob- 
ably be found valuable in some diseases, but so far have been neglected by 
health seekers. We are not aware that an analysis of either has ever been 
made. About two miles east of Sterling there is a spring owned by Mr Albert- 
son, the water of which is said to contain soda, iron, magnesia, potassa in the 
form of bicarbonates — lithia and silica, and some chlorides and phosphates. 


Artesian Wells. 

In several places in the county artesian wells have been tried, but the 
results achieved have in several cases been much below the expectations of those 
who projected them. An acquaintance with the conditions requisite foi>success 
seems to have been wanting, and the thought given the subject to have related 
only to the cost of the work. The reasoning adopted seems to have been much 
as follows: '-Wells are bored at Chicago, and a plentiful supply of water is 
obtained, therefore the same result may be obtained in the same way at Morrison, 
or any other place." Water cannot rise above the level of the fountain that 
supplies it, hence to make an artesian well a success there must be a head of 
water higher than the place where the well is bored. Then below and above 
the strata containing the water there must be strata through which water 
cannot pass freely, as if it can it will flow away in springs, and not rise higher 
than the point at which it escapes. 

The character of the rocks, their slope or dip, and the source from which 
they derive their supply of Avater, are, of course, veiy important features in the 
problem, and go far toward enabling us to settle the question of success or 
failure. In the valley of the Illinois, water is obtained at from 230 to 400 feet, 
rising from thirty to fifty feet above the surface, while on the prairie to the 
north of the river the only successful well is 2180 feet deep, while the boring 
at Mendota, 2160 feet deep, is not a success. The deepest boring in the world 
is that at St. Louis, Missouri, 3843^ feet deep. The water does not rise to the 
surface. At Sterling, a well 1655 feet deep, owned by Joel Harvey, flows a 
large quantity of water of good quality. The boring at Morrison, 1200 feet 
deep, does not flow, the water not rising to within twenty feet of the top. Dr. 
Pennington has bored near his residence, in Jordan, to the depth of 2200 feet, 
the water rising to within thirty-five feet of the top. At Utica, La Salle County, 
in the well of James Clark, there are three horizons of water-bearing rock in 
about 200 feet. The well penetrates the Potsdam sandstone about seventy 
feet, this being the water-bearing rock. Below are given the strata as pene- 
trated in several wells: 

Morriaon Artesian Well. 

Soil and Clays 5° 

Boulder Clay 60 first water at 1 10 feet. 

Niagara Limestone 75 

4 Cincinnati Slates and Shales 295 

Trenton Group. -< Trenton Limestone, While 100 it 

{ •• " Gray i-JO 

Chazy, St. Peter's Sandstone 200 ist rise of water, raised 50 feet. 

I (Gray Limestone 120 

Potsdam. ■< Calciferolis. / Brown Sandstone 100 2d water raised to 35 feet from top. 

( I Grey Limestone 80 

Total 1-200 feet. 

Boring about 200 to 250 feet deeper would probably improve this well. 
It should be carried into the Potsdam sandstone. 

7)?'. Pennington s, Jordan. 

Soil and Clavs 20 

I Rock 30 

Trenton^ Cincinnati Limestone 100 , 

( Trenton " 55° 

iSt. Peter's Sandstone 300 Chazy. 

Potsdam-' Calciferous 5°° Probably queliec. 

j Potsdam Sandstone 7°° 

Total 2,200 feet. 


./. Harvey s, Sterling. 

Er.rth, C'hiy, Sand and (iiavcl 30 First water 33. 

Yellow limestone S5 

Brown Mineral S 

Blue Slate and Shale 195 

Lifi:ht Colored Limestone i<x) 

Gri;v or Dark Limestone 265 

Light Sandstone 95 2d water 700 came within iS ft. of top 

Fine Limestone 90 

White Sandstone 85 

White Limestone 35 

Hard Limestone 35 3d water 900 overflowed. 

Medium }lard Limestone 120 

Loose Hilly Limestone 40 

Hard Limestone 270 4th water 1 150 flowed Si above top. 

White Sandstone ... 100 

Shalv Limestone 50 

Brown Sandstone 15 

Blue Shale 50 

Total i,66sfeet. 

Jas. Claries, Ufica, La Salle Co. 

Sand 17 water ift 35, 70 and 200 feet. 

Calciferous 170 

Potsdam 70 

This subject is well worthy of a careful study, the great outlay involved in 
boring a deep well, demanding a tolerable certainty of success, before one is 
justified in commencing so costly a work; and even when all is known that can 
be ascertained, there is room for more than a reasonable doubt of the result. 


Mineralogy describes and classifies the material composing our globe. The 
system generally followed is that used by Jas. D. Dana in his Manual of Miner- 
alogy. The classification is based on the chemical composition, the proportions 
of carbon, sulphur, oxygen, silica, &c., deciding the place of the species 
in the arrangement. Hence some ores of metals being of one class and some of 
another are found widely separated. The numbers occuring after each name is 
the number of Dana's species as given in the Manual. 

The minerals of Whiteside County are not many nor of great interest, yet 
of some species fair and of some fine specimens are easily obtained. 

Copper is found in the drift in its metallic state. It occurs in small quan- 
tities only. The largest fragment we have seen weighs about ten pounds, and 
is now in the collection of the Academy of Sciences, Ottawa, Illinois. 

Lead does not occur in the rocks of this county, but probably may be 
found in the drift. The ore found at Galena is Glalenite — 40 — sulphurate of 
lead. It may possibly be found in fissures in the Trenton limestone in the north 
part of the county. 

Sphalerite — 56 — Sulphide of Zinc, black-jack of miners — is found in small 
quantities at Dr. Pennington's quarry in Hopkins. 

Iron has several important ores — the most valuable being hematite — 180 — 
red oxide, red ochre, specular iron, yellow clay iron stone; magnetite — 186 — 
octahedrite, octahedral iron ore, magnetic oxide, black oxide; limonite — 206 — 
brown oxide, bog ore; siderite — 736 — carbonate of iron, brown clay iron stone. 
Hematite — 180 — occurs as a rather soft, easily cut, red stone, a half mile east 
of Rock Falls, where it is quarried for the use of the Sterling Mineral }*aint 
Company. It is also found at Cochran's quarry near Morrison, and in small 
((uantities at many other places, being generally called red clay. Yellow clay 
iron stone is quite common in most parts of the county. Limonite forms with 
gravel a ferruginous conglomerate of a deep brown color. We found large 
pieces of it in gravels in Ustiok township, near th(? residence of J. M. Williamson, 


and a considerable deposit of it exists a half mile east of Morrison station as a 
ferruginous gravel or soft conglomerate. 

Calcite — 715 — carbonate of lime, limestone, has been described and its 
localities mentioned. By calcite is generally understood crystallized carbonate 
of lime. It occurs as dogtooth spar, having the form of pyramids, generally 
filling cavities or hollows in the rock; as spar having the form of cubes or 
rhomboids, when transparent and possessing, as it commonly does, the power of 
making objects seen through it appear double, it is called Iceland spar. Cavities 
filled with crystals are called geodes. Calcite is generally white or colorless, 
but is sometimes yellow, red, bluish, brownish, &c., and the crystals often con- 
tain small particles of other matter. We found some beautiful, but very small 
crystals at Dr. Pennington's. They are often highly colored. Calcite is found 
in all the limestones. We have obtained some good but small crystals in New- 
ton. A beautiful stalagmite is found in some of the crevices of the Niagara 

Dolomyte — 71(3 — is very similar to calcite. It has a pearly lustre, however, 
and is not readily attacked by sulphuric acid, while calcite is; that is if you 
drop a little sulphuric acid — oil of vitriol — upon a piece of calcite, it will soon 
foam and eat into the stone; poured on dolomyte there is little foaming and the 
acid produces little effect on the stone. 

Pyrite — 75 — bisulphide of iron, sulphur, fool's gold, might be classed and 
really is a common ore of iron, but it is never used in the manufacture of iron, 
being worthless for this purpose. It is very abundant in the coal measures, 
being found in the form of scales and flakes of a golden yellow color in the coal 
itself. It is sometimes found in large lenticular masses, very hard, heavy, and 
when broken, of a yellowish gray. It also occurs in spherical masses from a 
half-inch to several inches in diameter, appearing to be engraved on the outside 
with geometrical figures, formed of a combination of triangles, and of a brassy 
hue. Its crystals are cubes, very perfect, dodecagons, and many other forms, 
the two named the most common. Some fine small crystals are found at Dr. 
IV-nnington's. and on sections 5, 7, and 8, Ustick, and in the limestones of most 
localities. It often decomjjoses when exposed to the atmosphere, sulphate of 
iron, sulphurous acid and a sulphate of iron and alumina — an alum — being the 

Clay. — Clay is the name given to a tenacious earth but sparingly dissolved 
by water and almost impervious to it. It is of various colors, a)id its composi- 
tion varies greatly. Yet common as clay is, it is a substance of great value. 
Brick, pottery and stoneware are manufactured from it and are impossible 
without it. Clay is the oxide of aluminum, a metal in color resembling silver, 
but bulk for bulk only half as heavy. This oxide is called alumina. Clay 
however is seldom pure alumina. Iron, lime, and silica or sand, as well as 
other substances are mixed with it and materially mf)dify its <)ualities. When pure 
it is almost impossible to melt it, but when mixed with sand and lime, it becomes 
more fusible, and we often see the surface of bricks looking as if glazed, the 
heat of the fire having fused the material of the brick, showing that the clay is 
not pure. The red color of brick is owing to the presence of iron in the form 
of red oxide. Mineralogically the clays belong to several species. Of these 
kaolin is one of the most important. It occurs on an island in Rock River, in 
Coloma township, belonging to a Mr. McKenzie. Fire clay is found between 
the strata of the Unionvillc sandstone in beds of from two to eight inches thick. 
It is of good quality but limited in quantity; also at Cochran's (juarry. Red, 
yellow and blue clays are found in almost every township in many places. The 


red and yellow clays are colored by iron and some of them are real ores of iron. 
They are true hematites, analagous to red chalk and red ochre. 

Other minerals occur in the drift as hornblend, orthoclase, albitc, mica, 
quartz, &c., but they are not found constituting strata or parts of any strata 
that have not been disturbed, and hence deserve no extended notice here. 

The rocks have been described. Limestone of many varieties is found 
over the county, generally magnesian, or dolomyte. Most of the limestone of 
the Central Plain is dolomyte containing from one-eighth to one-half carbon- 
ate of magnesia. Sandstone is found in only a narrow tract of territory. 

Granite, syenyte, gneis, doleryte, and hypersthenyte are common in the 
drift in fragments of greater or less size — varying from small pebbles to huge 
boulders weighing many tons, the largest about 200 tons. 

Economical Geology. 

The Niagara limestones of Whiteside County are an unfailing source of 
wealth. They furnish an inexhaustible supply of excellent building stone, it 
being generally easily quarried, not difficult to dress, of good color, and durable. 
The quarries of Ustick, Fulton and Sterling have been extensively worked for 
block stone, while at Albany, Newton and Morrison, stone for foundations, 
rough work and lime is procured; and in Prophetstown it is also quarried. 
Near Spring Hill the rock appears, but is soft, friable and worthless. 

The Trenton limestone in Jordan, at Dr. Pennington's, and in Hopkins, is 
extensively quarried. It makes a beautiful building material, being of pleasing- 
color, easily worked and very durable. The Doctor has several fine buildings 
of this material, which fully demonstrate its capabilities as a constructive material. 
There are three shades of it, all seeming to be e(|ually well fitted for architect- 
ural purposes. Some of the strata furnish a very superior flagging, stone of 
any dimensions being procurable. We saw some immense slabs ready for mar- 
ket, free from any trace of crack or flaw, and rivalling the best Berea or 
Batavia flags. The lowest stratum both at the Jordan and the Hopkins quarries 
is a very hard semi-crystalline stone, wholly unaffected by dampness or frost. 

The Unionville sandstones supply an easily worked and tolerably good 
material for foundations, and when pains is taken in quarrying, blocks of mod- 
erate size, 2x5x1-^ feet may be obtained, as well as good stuff for caps, sills, 
water-tables, steps and small platforms. It varies much in color, but is gener- 
ally of agreeable tints and wears well. Burr's quarry furnishes from its lowest 
beds a hard bluish white stone, from the middle l)eds a yellowish white, and from 
the upper beds a reddish gray stone. The stone from this quan-y is of very good 

Lime is burned at Cochran's quarry and at Mason's quarry north of Mor- 
rison. The lime manufactured here is of good quality, but the different strata 
are of different composition and produce limes of different character. That 
from one stratum seems to be improved by air-slacking. We were shown a wall 
made of air-slacked lime which is remarkably hard and sound, and another wall 
made of the same lime, not air-slacked, which is badly cracked, soft, and we 
should say worthless. One of the beds seems to be a hydraulic lime, but the 
quantity is too small to render it of value. We were told by a gentleman in 
the lime trade that this rock would not make lime, but Mr. Cochran assures us 
that when properly burned it forms a lime of the best quality. Lime is the 
Oxide of Calcium, a yellow metal, which on exposure to the air soon becomes 
tarnished and in a short time turns to the white substance which we call lime. 
This oxide absorbs carbonic acid gas and then becomes limestone. Heating the 
limestone drives off the carbonic acid as a gas, and the oxide of calcium re- 



mains. Air-slacking results from the lime absorbing moisture from the atmos- 
phere. Slacked lime is chemically speaking hydrated oxide of calcium, or a 
combination of water and oxide of calcium. Calcium in its metallic state is 
seen only as a curiosity, its great affinity for oxygen rendering it impossible to 
preserve it from the attacks of that clement whenever they come in contact. 

Peroxide of iron is quarried near Rock Falls and is ground at Sterling by 
the Sterling Mineral Paint Company. It is quite extensively sold and is well 
liked by those who have used it. It is of a dark rich brown, wears well, and 
from its composition must be incombustible and as near fire proof as a paint can 
be. An analysis made by Prof. Mariner, of Chicago, gives as its composition: 
Peroxide of iron, 68.; Silica, 15. ; Alumina, 11.; Water, 5. Eleven hundred 
tons were quarried last winter and will be required to supply the demand for 
the current year. It is used by railroad companies in painting cars and largely 
for painting out-buildings, and in coating iron and tin roofs. The sales extend 
to all parts of our country and there is a good prospect of a European market. 
This is therefore one of the most valuable mineral deposits of our County. 

Clays. — Red, yellow, blue and white clays are found in almost every neigh- 
borhood. The red is always an ore of iron resembling in general character the 
Sterling Mineral Paint, but containing less iron and more silica and alumina. 
The yellow contains some iron and it is this element that gives the red color to 
our bricks when burned. Very good brick are made at Morrison, Sterling, Ful- 
ton, Lyndon, and other places. Fire clay contains little iron and should be free 
from lime, for while either silica — sand, alumina — clay, or lime taken separately 
can be melted only in the most intense heat of a powerful furnace, when mixed 
they are quite fusible, consequently the presence of lime in the clay renders it 
more fusible, and therefore unfit for use where a high temperature is to be sus- 
tained. The clay found in beds of from two to eight inches in thickness between 
the strata of the Unionville sandstone is a very good fire clay and has been used 
in the manufacture of fire brick at Fulton, and also at the Morrison lime kilns. 
It was used at Fulton in the manufacture of pottery and would answer a good 
purpose but does not take glazing readily. It is somewhat difficult to get it out 
free from arenaceous matter, and the quantity is too small to be of much value. 
Near Cochran's quarry is a bed of clay that may prove to be of some importance. 
He informs us that brick made from it stand the action of fire remarkably 
well. It has not been tried on a large scale. 

gand. — Sand for mortar is found in all parts of the county. Moulding 
sand (of good quality) is obtained at Lyndon, and a bed that seems to possess all 
the qualities of a good moulding sand occurs at Cochran's quarry. 

Gravel beds are found in the drift everywhere, but in many cases they are 
deep down and practically inaccessible. South and west of Lyndon on the C. R. 
I. & St. L. R. R., is a fair deposit of gravel. 

Marl. — -A calcareous clay or soft shelly limestone, is quite common, but is 
usually called a clay. These marls where found in sufficient (juantities are val- 
uable fertilizers and are worthy of much more attention than they have received. 
The exuberant fertility of our soil has caused our people to neglect these sources 
of wealth because deemed unnecessary, but the day is rapidly approaching when 
a better system of farming will be inaugurated, and then the question of 
manures will receive a more careful consideration. The deposit known as quick 
clay is a marl. A bed of shell marl occurs on Dr. Pennington's huid in Jordan, 
but seems to be thin. 

Such then are the mineral resources of Whiteside County. They are not 
such as are calculated to startle and amaze the reader, and seem when com- 
pared with those of Jo. Daviess or La Salle Counties, scanty and mean, and when 


contrasted with those of an equal area of Colorado or California to be of no 
consequence; but we must not forget that these treasures are indispensable to 
the welfare of a people, that without them progress must be slow and enterprise 
continually embarassed. Besides they are of such a nature that the demand 
must continue to increase with time, and the supply is practically inexhaustible. 
They are therefore of great economical value, mines of wealth more necessary 
and more conducive to our progress than the gems of Golconda, or the mines 
of Nevada. 


The Uuionville Sandstone. — These strata seem to form isolated patches or 
islands in a Niagara sea. As they now exist we believe them to be wholly un- 
connected. They are fragments of a once much more extensive deposit, most 
of which has been torn up and scattered over more southern lands. 

The Walled Well. — The story of a walled well — a work of aboriginal art^ — 
has been heard by many who may read these pages. Mr. Jas. Shaw considers 
it to be a pot-hole or hole worn out by the action of the water and gravel. The 
porch of a house now covers it and investigation would be difficult if not impos- 
sible. It is to be regretted that this object has not been examined by competent 
jparties, as its character is yet doubtful. 

Coal and Petroleum. — The search for coal and petroleum maybe pronounced 
in vain. Neither are to be expected in this county. The coal-bearing strata 
do not extend into the county, and as the shales that are the great reservoirs of 
petroleum are all wanting we may assume that petroleum does not exist in any 
quantity worth looking after. 

Natural History. 

The Natural History of Whiteside County has not been studied with the 
care the subject should receive. No collection of its animals, reptiles, birds, 
fishes and insects exists as far as we now know. This is to be regretted, as 
species once common here are becoming scarce and some not native here are 
appearing year by year and taking. the place of those that are disappearing. 

The principal animals found in the county by the first settlers were the 
Gray wolf, Prairie wolf. Lynx, Wildcat, Kaccoon, Skunk, Mink, Weasel, Beaver, 
Otter, Muskrat, Hare (rabbit), Gray squirrel. Fox squirrel, Grey gopher. Striped 
gopher (Spermophile), Chipmunk (probably an emigrant). Mole of several species, 
Mice of several species. The Bison or Buffalo (Bos Americanus) certainly at 
one time visited this county as the bones are now found in the peat beds. The 
bear was also probably an inhabitant of this region, although we have not seen 
it mentioned as being found here by our first settlers. The elk and deer were 
common and were found many years after the county was settled, although they 
are now extinct. 

The birds of Whiteside County are those of a large section of the United 
States. Several species are only occasional visitors, many species go southward 
during the winter, while a small number remain here the year round. Among 
the birds of prey the Baldeagle (Halifetus leucocephalus), holds the first place. 
He is probably not a resident of the county at this time. The Buzzard, Spar- 
row hawk, Goss hawk, Snowy owl, Barn owl, and Screech owl, Butcher bird or 
shrike, King bird. King fisher. Blue jay. Wood pecker, Yellow-hammer, Meadow 
lark, Snow bird, Wren, Redstart, Chipping bird. Blue bird, Brown-thresher, 
Tomtit, Yellow bird, Baltimore oriole, Robin, Pewee, Phoebe bird, Cheewink 
or Ground finch. Cuckoo, Plover, Snipe, Wild goose, Duck, Crane, Heron, Gull, 
Brant, Swan, Partridge, Prairie chicken or Pinnated grouse. Quail, Turkey, 


Night hawk, T\Tiipporw'ill, Swallow, Chimney swallow, Martin, Dove, Pigeon, 
Crow, Bittern or Pump thunder. Black bird, Woodcock, Bail, Humming bird, 
are found at some seasons of the year within our borders. Some of them are 
now seldom seen while others are constantly met with. The practice of ruth- 
lessly shooting everything that has feathers and wings has tended to greatly 
diminish the number of birds, and some species are verging on extinction as 
far as this region is concerned. 

Keptiles are neither large nor numerous. Of the turtles there are four 
species, two of which attain a considerable size. The newts or Tritons are 
represented by one, perhaps more species. The Mennobranchus inhabits the 
still water of sloughs. Frogs are numerous and of several species. Toads are 
common. The tree frog is often heard, if not frequently seen, and the cray 
■fish is a well known denizen of our low lands. Of the Ophidians — the serpents 
— the number is not large, and most species are less common than they were a 
few years ago. The rattlesnake was represented by at least three species, two 
of them the yellow rattlesnake — Crotalus horridus, and the Prairie rattlesnake 
now seldom seen, are large reptiles. The blow snake — a species of viper, blue 
racer, garter snake, the most common of our snakes, the water snake, and the 
ground snake, very scarce, comprise most of our species. 

The fishes are quite numerous in all the streams of any size. The catfish, 
pout, black and rock bass, sunfish, perch, buffalo fish, pickerel, pike, sucker, 
sheephead, spoon fish, sturgeon, eel, shiner, gar, and minnow, are the principal 
species. They are caught in considerable quantities, especially in the Missis- 
sippi and Bock Bivers. 

The insects comprise representatives of all the great families. The Lepi- 
doptera — moths and butterflies, has many species, varying greatly in size, from 
the great Cecropia moth, five inches across the wings, to the tiny Tenia less 
than a half inch in breadth. The Neuroptera are common, dragon flies of 
several species being found along our streams. The Corydalis frequents the 
same places, especially the woods of Bock Eiver. Mosquitoes are over much 
of the county, too abundant for comfort. The Coleoptera are numerous, and 
many of them large and beautifully colored. The beetles, embracing the 
troublesome and destructive borers of many species, belong to this class, as 
also the carrion bug or scavenger beetle. Many of the borers are remarkable 
for the length of their antennae and for the strangeness and elegance of their 
forms. The beautiful and delicate lady-bugs also belong to this division. The 
Hemiptera, Diptera and Hymenoptera are represented by the flies and bees, of 
each of which there are several genera and many species: the humble bee, 
wasp, hornet, yellow jacket, mason wasp, mining bee, and hornet are too well 
known to require description. The spiders, Arachnida, are found everywhere, 
many of them being highly colored and some of them of large size. 

The molluska are represented by about forty species of Unio, varying 
greatly in* size, form, exterior surface of shell and internal structure. The 
Viviparus, Melania, and Planorbis are also well represented in most of our 
streams. Many of these shells are beautiful objects and they offer a fine field 
to the naturalist, being easily obtained in great quantity. The land species, 
Physa, Helix, &c. are found in the woods and marshy lands. We have seen no 
living specimens of either genus in our researches this summer (1877). 

The botany of this county is rich in species both of Exogens — plants hav- 
ing a true wood and bark and increasing in size by the addition of layers on the 
outside, and Endogens — plants having no true wood and bark, and growing from 


within. The Cryptogamia are also quite numerous, the Musci, Filices and Fungi 
being quite plenty. A list of the plants alone would occupy several pages, and 
for the general reader possess little interest. We shall therefore only enumerate 
the principal species: 

The forest trees and shrubs embrace the Cottonwood, Yellow Popal, Quak- 
ing asp; Oak — white, black, yellow, chestnut; Black Walnut; Coffee Bean — 
Gymnocladus; Elms — lllmus americana and TJlmus fulva; Willows, several 
species; Mulberry, Morusrubus; Box P]lder — Negundo aceroides; Soft Maple — 
Acer rubrus; Hard Maple — Acer saccharum; Sycamore; Plane tree — Platanus 
occidentalis; Ash — black and blue; Baswood, or Linn tree; Honey Locust; 
Three Thorned Acacia, Gledithschia tricanthus; Sassafras — Sassafras officin- 
ale; Plum; Crab Apple; Wild Cherry — Cerasus serotinus; Witch Hazel; Dog- 
wood — Cornus; Shadberry; Juneberry — Amelanchier canadensis; Thorn — Cra- 
tegus tomentosus and Crategus crusgalli; Sumac — Rhus glabra,,Rhus'typhina, 
Rhus radicans, climbing; Staff tree; False Bitter Sweet — Celastrus scandens, 
climbing; Birch; Hazel; Elder; Button Bush — Cephalanthus; Black Alder; Red 
Cedar — Juniperus virginiana. 

A noticeable feature of this list is that the finest timber trees of the east 
are wanting here. Neither the Tulip nor Cucumber tree are present, and the 
Linn is of less size. The Oaks are more scrubby and less valuable. The Hard 
Maple is found in a few places only, the Beech not at all. Of the herbs 
and small shrubs the number is very great, many of them worthy of 
notice on account of the beauty of their foliage and flowers. From 
early spring when the Anemone Nuttalliana appear on the sandy hillsides until 
the chill wind of winter browns the foliage with its icy breath there is a con- 
stant succession of floral beauties. Several species of Ranunculus enliven pas- 
tures and roadsides and are known to all under the familiar name of crowfoot or 
butter cups. Liverwort— Hepatica triloba; Spring Beauty — Claytonia; Cowslip 
— Caltha palustris; Dutchman's Breeches — Dicentria cucuUaria and canadensis; 
Dentaria diphylla or pepper root; Cardamine rhomboidia, Arabis canadensis 
or wild cress; Barbarea vulgaris or water cress; Viola pedata; Viola cucul- 
lata; Dodecatheon media or prairie points, prairie pink or Mead's cowslip; 
Thalictrum cornuti; Grei-anium maculatum or crane's bill; Sanguinaria cana- 
dense or blood root; Oxalis violacea or purple sorrel; Spirea; Phlox, macu- 
latum, and several other species make up a constant succession of flowers 
from spring to midsummer, while the compositae through the spring 
are represented by but few species, dandelion — Leontodon taravensis and 
Troximon with Cirsium pumilam, a lai-ge beautiful thistle. Lilies now 
begin to appear, and two species, — L. superbum and L. philadelphicum, are 
quite common. Rosin weed — silphium of three species, sunflowers — Helian- 
thus of six species; Coreopsis of four species; Rudebeckia, four species. Soli- 
dago — Golden rod of six species; Vernonia fasiculata; Liatris, four species; 
Aster, ten or twelve species; Cirsium thistle, four species; Lepachys; Echin- 
aceas purpurea, purple cone flower; Parthenium. Heliopsis Ifevis; Erigeron, 
three species; Eupatorium, boneset thoroughwart, four species; Dysodia, dog- 
fennel; Cacalia; Cynthia Virginiana and several other genera make a splendid 
display of composite flowers until frost. Lobelia — four species; cardinalis — 
red cardinal flower; syphilitica — blue cardinal flower; leptostachys — slender 
lobelia, inflata — lobelia; Campanula Americana; C. rotundifolium, in rocky 
ground; Lysimachia stricta; L. longifolia; Gerardia auriculata; the curious and 
beautiful Castilleja coccinea — painted cup; C. sessilifolia; Dasystoma flava; 
Gerardia; Pentestemon grandiflorus; Mimulus ringens — monkey flower; Eryn- 
gium yuccacefolium; Petalostemon violaceum; Dalea-alopecuroides; Lespedza 


capitata — ^bush clover; Cassia chamsecrista; Baptisia, two species; Latliyfus — ■ 
wild pea — three species; Desmodium. four species; Podophyllum peltatum — 
may apple, mandrake, are some of the most common. Several species of 
Asclepidiacet^ or milkweeds, among them the lovely butterfly weed with its 
large scarlet heads of flowers, is a very conspicuous object by roadsides and in 
fields; the Calystegia sepium, commonly called morning glory — a great pest of 
the farmers from its creeping roots and spreading vines of rapid growth; Ipomea 
panduratus — man root, man of the earth— a splendid plant with large morning 
glory-like flowers, having a purple tube and white border and a large fleshy root 
very difiicult to kill, are frequentl}' met Avith and cannot fail to attract the 
attention of the lover of nature. The curious Euphorbias are not generally 
striking in foliage or flower, but E. carollata is very common in dry fields and 
^■om its large white umbellate heads, is a very conspicuous object. The 
remainder of the species common here are creeping plants and cover our 
ploughed lands, if not frequently stirred, with a web of variegated green or red. 
Of the Grasses we have not space to speak, and moreover have never made them 
an object of study. The Filices or ferns, Musci or mosses, and Liverworts, must 
for the same reason be omitted. 

It will be seen from this meagre article that the botany of this county 
offers a treasury by no means poor in its resources, to him who seeks a knowl- 
edge of the Creator's wonderful works. It is far from creditable to the litterati 
of the county that no better collections illustrating Natural History exist. Our 
teachers, especially those standing at the head of our High Schools, could very 
easily awaken an interest in this subject in the minds of their pupils, and large 
and valuable collections could readily be made, collections that would not only 
be of value for illustration in teaching, but become standards of reference in 
the future. Besides this knowledge has a value that cannot easily be estimated. 
The man who goes out into the world having some acquaintance with Geology 
will not spend his time and money in digging in Devonian and Silurian strata 
for coal, or boring in Niagara Limestone for petroleum. He who has a knowl- 
edge of botany will not be liable to be tricked by seedsmen and speculators into 
buying worthless wonders in vegetables. The locust, the potato beetle, the 
many borers all demonstrate the need of at least a passing acquaintance with 
insects and their habits, and our teachers should take the lead in the work and 
make an efi'ort to impress on the minds of all that such knowledge is of great 
importance. The loss sustained annually by the farmers of Illinois from the 
ravages of insects may safely be placed at more than $20,000,000— a vast sum 
in the aggregate — a tax of almost $7 per head on every man, woman and child 
in the State, and most of it a tax levied by ignorance on those who despise 

Antiquities and J*re-Historic 3Ian — Indian History. 

Antiquities and Pre-Historic Man. 

When Europeans first penetrated to the country beyond the Appalachian ' 
mountains; they found it covered with dense forests and presenting no evidences 
of ever having been cultivated, but here and there were hillocks of regular 
form, some of them of great size, usually occupying commanding positions on 
the highlands overlooking streams. Besides these hillocks, evidently the work 
of man, there were walls of great extent, some of them enclosing tracts of many 
acres, in several cases of more than 100 acres in area. Of these works the 
Indians, at that time living in the country, could give no account whatever, or 
but a very vague and unsatisfactory one, and research has resulted only in theo- 
ries and conjectures and these often of the wildest and most improbable 

In Whiteside County many mounds are found. On the high point south 
west of Albany three or four are placed commanding a fine view of the Missis- 
sippi in both directions. They appear to contain only bones and these crumble } 
as soon as exhumed. In Fenton on the slope overlooking the Rock River Bot- : 
torn were several. In Como a number are found. Some of these have been _ 
lately examined, fragments of bone being discovered. In Carroll County, Mr. ' 
J. M. AVilliamson informs us, is found a vast collection of flint chippings, the 
material of several varieties as if brought from different localities, which are be- 
lieved to mark the site of an arrow and spear-head manufactory. 

The articles found in mounds are of considerable variety, embracing arrow\. 
and spear heads, stone axes, shaped and pierced fragments of stone, intended 
either for ornament or as charms, earthen ware coarse and unglazed, but usually 
ornamented with simple designs, earthen vessels of various sizes and forms, I 
beads, etc. Some pieces of copper and other minerals foreign to the locality and ' 
evidently esteemed for their beauty and rarity have been obtained, and in a few 
instances, tablets of stone have been unearthed covered with hieroglyphic char- 
acters, which seem from their grouping and arrangement to be designed as a 
sort of record. 

What was the design of these monuments? Many, most of them were un- 
deniably tombs, as they contain only bones and such articles as were buried with 
the dead; others contain nothing and seem to have been designed as places for 
lookouts; while others, no doubt, were at one time places at which religious ex- 
ercises were held and where sacrifices were offered, and these we have reason to 
believe were often of human beings. Are they of the same age? Certainly 
not. We might as well assume that all the buildings in Whiteside County were 
erected in the same year. No people ever built all they ever constructed at , 
once and then ceased to work. Some of the mounds are probably of great age, 
comparatively speaking, just as some of the ruins of Rome are much older than 
others. W^ere they constructed by one or by difi'erent people? We see no rea- 
son to believe that any change of race took place. The ruins of Roman origin 
difi'er as much among themselves as the material found in mounds. 


Were the builders the ancestors of the present Indians? There is nothing 
to prove that they were not, and some facts go to show that they were. If 
skeletons are of any value as evidence, then we must admit that there is good 
reason for assuming those ancient builders and the present Indians to be of the 
same race. That the Indian of to-day knows nothing of the origin of these 
monuments proves nothing. What does an Italian peasant know of the Coliseum 
or a Thessalian Greek of the Parthenon? Yet this does not prove that the 
blood of Cfesar does not flow in the veins of the one, or that of cotemporaries 
of Leonidas in those of the other. Neither does this ignorance make the Coli- 
seum older than the Christian era or carry back the Acropolis to the age of 
'myth. We greatly doubt if a mound 2,000 years old exists in the United States, 
and all necessity of asking for an age mucli greater than that of the Egyptian 
pyramids vanishes when we consider the matter in the light of common sense 
and fact. Nations under certain circumstances degenerate, a fact well estab- 
lished by history. Moors could not now build an Alhambra more than Egyptian 
fellahs could erect the pylons of Karnak or hew the Sphinx. Yet we well know 
that these are the works of their fathers. Investigators unfortunately gener- 
ally construct a theory and then search for facts to prove it, viewing each fact 
captured through the microscope of prejudice and pre-possession, and of course 
succeed in getting at everything but the truth. 

So far the really ancient mounds have furnished but very few implements 
except those formed of stone. But this by no means proves their extreme 
antiquity, for all over North America at the time of the Spanish invasion of 
Mexico — 1519-'21 — stone implements were used, and in some sections are yet. 
That the Indians of to-day do not erect mounds, build fortresses and collect in 
great cities is of no. importance. It indicates a retrogression perhaps, but not 
greater than has been observed among other races, and how much greater is the 
change than what is observed among the Copts of Egypt? They have remained 
agriculturists, because even their miserable mode of life could not be maintained 
by hunting and fishing in that land. How readily has the white man taken to 
this savage mode of life again and again? Moreover, the Indians of Central 
America have most of them lost all traces of civilization and are now denizens 
of the forest with which as with a veil Nature has covered the desolation. 
The problem of the past of our continent is one of great difficulty. That a cer- 
tain civilization may have originated here, as Baldwin argues, is not, indeed, 
impossible, but there is no evidence of its rise and growth. It is only conject- 
ured at best. At present the tendency of research seems to be to prove all 
civilization to have come from a common source, and we think that at last we 
shall find, if we are ever able to obtain decisive evidence, that this is the correct 
opinion. The tale of Atalantis, Baldwin's notion of three or four successive 
and almost independent growths of civilization, etc., may all be safely set aside 
as so many ingenious dreams of no real value. 

The flint implements, arrow heads and spear heads, that we have seen, are 
of various grades of Avorkmanship, some highly finished, others rough and clumsy. 
The material difi'ers f rom a fine semi-translucent horn stone to a dull oolitic chert 
of two or more shades of color. The forms are very various from a kind of 
spike shaped flint 2^ inches long by a ^ of an inch wide with a head an inch 
wide to a stout, ovate blade two inches long by 1:^ inches wide. It would be 
easy to make out at least twenty types of these implements. The axes and 
chisels are generally made of doleryte — a greenish, tough rock, or of syinitc of 
a grayish hue, and in a few cases of a fine flesh colored granite of great beauty. 
These are in all cases beautiful specimens of workmanship. Tools apparently 
used for skinning animals seem in most cases to be made of doleryte, as it retains 


an edge longer than most other stones that can be easily obtained. Pieces of 
all of these are found in the drift gravels, and we believe the material used by 
the ancient manufacturers was obtained from this source in a great measure. 
A chert precisely like that from which some arrows are made is found in place 
— that is in beds — at Utica, Illinois, and no doubt much of the flint or cherts used 
here was obtained from the Niagara limestone. Mr. J. M. Williamson, of 
Ustick, and W. C. Holbrook, of Genesee, have some fine specimens of these 
tools in their collections. 

The earthen ware is of vai-ious colors, some almost a cream tint, and from 
this running through all shades to a dark brown. It is generally rough, coarse, 
as to material, thick, clumsy in form, and ornamented in geometrical designs of 
straight parallel lines, either of one or two series. Some specimens are how- 
ever of a higher type, of fine form, and skillfully modeled. It may be seen in 
the collections named above. One specimen is an oblate spheroidal vessel hav- 
ing two mouths similar to the neck of a bottle. It is perfect, of a dark brown 
color, smooth, and well made. 

The beads are generally of bone or stone. They are of irregular forms, 
of various sizes and were probably worn for ornament. Circular and triangular 
pieces of stone pierced with one or more holes seem to have been intended for 
the same purpose, but may have been used as amulets or charms. They do not 
appear to have been numerous, at least we have seen few of them. 

The pieces of copper found in these tombs were probably collected from 
the drift, but that at one time and for a considerable length of time it was 
mined on Lake Superior cannot be doubted; and it may have been an article of 
trafiic among this people. Masses of it weighing several pounds have however 
been obtained in the drift of both the Illinois and the Rock River. 

W. C. Holbrook, Esq., of Genesee, who has thoroughly investigated the 
labors of the mound Builders in Whiteside County, presents his conclusions and 
observations as follows: There arc fifty one mounds near Albany; a large num- 
ber in the vicinity of Como. He has examined four mounds and two altars in 
Clyde. Several groups of mounds and earthworks are to be seen on Rock River 
above Sterling. Below the Sterling fair grounds are twenty-two mounds, one 
of which is the largest in the county. The Albany mounds are rounded heaps 
of loose sandy soil, from two to twelve feet in height, usually circular, of a 
diameter five times the height. Several of the mounds are elliptical, their long 
diameter parallel with the river. In these mounds have been found galena, 
mica and fragments of pottery, the pottery bearing the impression of some kind 
of woven or matted fabric, bone implements and various portions of human 
skeletons. Dr. Farquharson, of Davenport, Iowa, by means of a comparative 
table of the length of long bones, found that none of them belonged to a person 
higher than six feet. In May, 1877, Mr. Holbrook examined a number of 
mounds above the Catholic Cemetery, in the vicinity of Sterling, one of which 
was a large mound, one of a number in a row parallel with the river. On mov- 
ing the clay it was found that this mound contained a Dolmen built of flat 
pieces of fossiliferous limestone. The stones used were quite large. The wall 
was a right angled parallelogram, twelve feet long and five wide, the foundation 
laid upon clay, the wall built in an artistic manner, no cement having been 
used. The inner surface was smooth and even, although the stones were 
unhewn. The inside of the Dolmen revealed fragments of eight skeletons, the 
bones badly decomposed. Apparently the bodies were cast into the sepulchre 
promiscuously. The skulls found indicated that this people were acquainted 
with the division of surger}' known as '' trepanning" — i. e. removing portions of 
the bones of the skull, or portions of other bones. A thigh bone that had been 



fractured was found replaced and united in a manner that would do honor to a 
surgeon of the present day. With the skulls were found a plummet, fossils 
which are not found in this locality, finely black polished pebbles, and a number 
of large teeth. In another mound was found an altar of burned rock, oval in 
shape, long diameter six feet, short diameter four and a half feet. The altar 
was of fossiliferous limestone. Over the mounds were found a vegetable 
growth of from one to ten feet and a decayed stump of a hickory tree, about 
twelve inches in diameter. On and about the altars were usually found charcoal 
and charred remains of human beings; also evidence of great and continued heat. 
At Sterling the indications are that the body was placed upon the clay, covered 
with black loam, and a great fire built over the whole. After the fire the mound 
was raised. This is indicated by the thick strata of charcoal and ashes found. 
As a rule the remains unearthed furnish unsatisfactory evidence. Great num- 
bers of perfect molar teeth are exhumed, thus certifying that pre-historic man 
was unacquainted with the pangs of the toothache. In the Sterling mounds 
were found stone scrapers, but very rude in design and execution. Fragments 
of pottery were found, also implements made from the antlers of the elk and 
deer. At Sterling is a work that many judges pronounce a fortress. The two 
embankments are parallel, four rods apart, direction east and west. The south 
embankment has two gateways. The north embankment is sixteen rods long 
and has two gateways. The construction indicates a knowledge of the cardinal 
points of the compass. This people evidently had a practical acquaintance with 
astronomy, as the north star appears to have been a governing point with them. 

The Mound Builders wore cloth, and dressed the hides of animals, carved 
rude ornaments and engraved characters upon stone; ate food from earthen 
dishes, and worshiped at altars erected upon high hills and in low valleys. 
There is abundant reason for believing that human sacrifice was common with 
them. Trepanned skulls are frequently met with on opening mounds, evidence 
being presented that the operation was made prior to death. The superstition 
of the Mound Builders seems analogous to that of the South Sea Islanders and 
tribes of savages of the present day who trepan for vertigo, neuralgia, etc., 
believing that these complaints are demons in the head that should be let out. 
Metal was worked in an imperfect manner by the people. Galena was a promi- 
inent ornament. Mr. J. M. Williamson, of Ustick, says these charms are found 
in the northAvestern part of the county. Copper was apparently the king of 
metals among the Mound Builders. Anatomically considered the Mound Builders 
were no larger nor stronger than the men of the present day. Their skulls differ 
widely from the Indian or Caucasian, and have been thus described: " The 
frontal bone recedes backwards from a prominent supercilliary ridge, leaving no 
forehead, or rather the eye looks out from under the frontal plate, very similar 
to a turtle shell, and no more elevated." Their jaws were protruding, promi- 
nent and wide. The evidence is that the Mound Builders were a half-civilized 
agricultural people, prominently differing from the Indians in manner of burial 
and habits of life. The scientifically developed fact that bones undergo great 
changes by age, as applied by Dr. Earquharson and Mr. Holbrook, prove the 
great antiquity of the bones found in the mounds of this county. Lack of 
space precludes the presentation of the interesting and conclusive table, show- 
ing the results of their examination of the bones. 

In relation to the Stone Age of Whiteside County, Mr. Holbrook says that 
stone implements are occasionally found in all parts of the county. The num- 
ber of implements found in some localities indicate that primitive man lived in 
villages, and that each village had at least one arrow maker. The men of the 
Stone Age evidently admired the beautiful and sublime in nature, for the sites 


of their ancient villages are in the most picturesque and grand localities in the 
county. In one of these villages in the south-western part of the town of 
(jlenesoe, eighty-four arrow heads and spear points were found while plowing an 
acre of ground. A number of small, sharp and triangular pieces of flint that 
had perhaps been used for " teeth " of war-clubs were also found. In another 
village, on the farm of Mr. Deyo in the town of Clyde, we find the number of 
domestic implements to greatly exceed that of the weapons. More than one 
hundred scrapers, a number of stone hoes, several corn pestles, and some imple- 
ments of doubtful or unknown uses, have been found here. Mr. Deyo plowed 
up about twenty scrapers that had been carefully buried near the roots of a 
large white oak; only a small portion of the decayed stump of the once vener- 
able oak now remains. Some of the scrapers found in this " nest " are very 
interesting on account of being but half finished and revealing the method of 
their manufacture. The implement maker — for some were undoubtedly devoted 
to that business — found, or broke from some larger piece of flint or horn stone, 
a flat piece of rock; he then began to break off small flakes near the edges on 
one side, finishing it before he began to chip off the other side; when finished 
these scrapers were oval in form, about four inches long and two and one-half 
broad, one side convex resembling in shape a turtle shell, the opposite side 
nearly flat or slightly concave. Stone hoes somewhat resemble the scraper in 
form; they are, however, longer, less oval, edge upon one end instead of the 
side, and the end opposite the edge smooth for the hand; they had no handles. 
Pestles for crushing corn are about eight inches in length and two inches in 
diameter. Fish spears are sometimes found among the pebbles in the bottoms 
of the smaller streams; unfortunately many of these specimens are broken, so 
it is not an easy matter to determine their prevailing form. Broken arrow 
heads and spear points are sometimes found. Arrow heads once broken and 
chipped into specimens of different forms have been found; others bear evidence 
of having been broken at the point and afterwards repaired. Implements for 
dressing hides have been found; a good specimen of this class of implements 
was found by J. M. Williamson, in Ustick; it is a small oval boulder about eight 
inches in diameter and two inches thick; on one side there is a flat and very 
smoothly polished surface. The materials from which the implements of the 
Stone Age are manufactured are all found in the drift of Whiteside County. 
There are, however, several exceptions: a pipe of the Minnesota pipe-stone has 
been found in Genesee, and a spear head of a peculiar quality of quartzite found 
at Devil's Lake, Wisconsin, has been picked up in Clyde. Arrow heads were 
made from almost every variety of horn-stone; a few were made of milky 
quartz, and one in the collection of J. M. Williamson is pure yellow jasper. 
Stone axes weighing from four ounces to thirteen pounds have been found. An 
ax in the collection of Mr. Holbrook weighs eleven pounds, and is unfinished. 
Large quantities of flint chippings are found in some localities; they prove that 
the arrow-makers understood the conchroidal fracture and planes of cleavage 
of the materials used. Some specimens are very rude and imperfect, others are 
perfect and exhibit great skill; some appear to be very ancient, for their sur- 
faces are weathered or corroded by the tooth of time. 

Indian History. 
A part of a chapter devoted to the race of people who inhabited the lands 
now embraced in Whiteside County, prior to and for some time after the advent 
of the white man, is appropriate and necessarily connected with the subsequent 
history of the lands, settlers, etc., of the county. The history of the men, 
savage and uncivilized though they were, who once peopled the lauds now the 


property of the white man, is of peculiar interest; a people who lived happily 
on the banks of the gleaming Sinnissippi, its beautiful tributaries, and the roll- 
ing Mississippi, wandered at will through the magnificent forests and over the 
boundless prairies, of whom but a miserable remnant now remain on distant res- 
ervations, where through the influences of disease, changed habits, and vices, 
introduced by the civilized whites, they are rapidly passing away. 

The Kock Kiver Valley, with its forests and prairies abounding in game, 
and streams teeming with fish, was always the favorite home of the red man, 
and to it he clung tenaciously, the Sacs and Foxes in 1831-32 waging a fierce 
war. known in history as the "Black Hawk War,"' before they would all consent 
to leave their lands and villages and cross the Mississippi. Portions of the 
Winnebago tribe remained as late as 1838, and for years afterwards straggling 
parties of them occasionally appeared to once more view their old hunting 

By the treaty of 1804, the Sacs and Foxes ceded to the United States all 
the lands between the mouths of the Illinois and Wisconsin rivers. In 1816, 
that portion of the territory lying north of a line drawn west of the southern 
extremity of Lake Michigan, which would be on the line of the present south- 
ern boundary of Whiteside County, was retroceded by the Government to the 
Ottowas, Chippewas and Pottawattomies. The Winnebagoes were not included 
in the grant. Subsequently a war broke out among the tribes in regard to 
boundaries, and the United States Commissioners interposed to adjust the 
differences. By the new arrangement the rights of the Winnebagoes were 
recognized. They had been in the country for years, and firmly maintained the 
land belonged to them. 

The Sacs and Foxes who, under Black Hawk, refused to cross the Missis- 
sippi, and by other acts provoked a war, were originally of the Algonquin tribe, 
turbulent and warlike. In early times they lived east of Detroit. They were 
driven west and settled at Saginaw. Thence they were forced to (xreen Bay by 
the Iroquois. Finally the latter tribe, and the Winnebagoes, forced them to 
the Fox river. In the early part of the eighteenth century they made war upon 
the French, who with the Monomjnees and Chippewas, drove them to the Wis- 
consin river. In 1804, several chiefs of the Sacs and Foxes sold lands, extending 
700 miles along the Mississippi river, for $2,234.50 and an annuity of $1,000. 
Black Hawk refused to recognize the arrangement, asserting the chiefs were 
drunk when they signed the compact, and influenced by cheap presents. The 
tribes sided with the British during the war of 1812, and in 1816 made peace 
at Fort Armstrong, where Rock Island now is, by which large bodies of land 
were ceded and the treaty of 1804 ratified. This treaty was signed by Black 
Hawk. The treaty of 1804 had divested the Sacs and Foxes of their title to 
the Rock River country. A treaty was again entered into in 1830, by which 
they were to remove from the lands they had sold to the Government, and 
peaceably retire west of the Mississippi. The treaty of 1804 provided that so 
long as the lands remained the property of the Ignited States the Indians should 
enjoy the privilege of living and hunting thereon. 

In 1829 a few sections of land were sold near the mouth of Rock River, 
apparently with the object of having the government title to the lands pass into 
the hands of private individuals, thus furnishing a pretext for removing the 
Indians westward. The settlers were guilty of many excesses toward the 
Indians, and preferred grave charges against them. The site of the celebra- 
ted Indian village near the mouth of Rock River was surveyed and sold. All 
this had its effect upon Black Hawk, and, inspired by his natural hatred of 
the Americans, his love for his native village, and believing that he had been 


imposed upon, he resolved upon war. He represented to his tribe that their 
rights to the soil were inalienable, and the previous cessions and treaties null 
and void. In 1831 Black Hawk re-crossed the river with his women, children and 
three hundred warriors. The Chief by signing the treaty of 1816 had ratified 
that of 1804, but he was bent upon war, and ordered the settlers away, killed 
their cattle and otherwise injured their property. Gov. Reynolds called for 
seven hundred troops from the northern and eastern counties of the State, and 
sixteen hundred responded. This force soon appeared at Rock Island, and 
Black Hawk and his band fled across the river. Upon a threat to pursue him 
across the Mississippi the Chief and his braves sued for peace and then entered 
into a treaty to forever remain on the west side of the river, and to never 
recross it without permission from the President, or Governor of the State. 
The ancient Indian village was burned to the ground. 

Despite the treaty Black Hawk and the disaffected Indians recrossed the 
river in 1832. The greater part of the nation remained on the west side, being 
restrained by Keokuk, a friend of the whites, who was wise enough to for- 
see that it would be ruinous to enter upon the plans of Black Hawk. Black 
Hawk, after crossing the Mississippi, marched up Rock River into the country 
of the Pottawatamies and Winnebagoes, hoping to induce them to unite in the 
war with him. Previous to this the Chief second in command to Black Hawk, 
had consulted Wa-bo-kies-shiek, or White Cloud, the Winnebago prophet, who 
had informed him that the British, Ottawas, Chippewas, Pottawatamies and 
Winnebagoes would assist his tribe in regaining their village and lands. This 
prophet resided in a village named " Prophet's town," located near where the 
town of Prophetstown now stands, and which gave the place its name. This 
prophet had much influence. He was a shrewd man, and by his prophetic pre- 
tensions easily imposed upon his people. He is described in 1831 as being 
about forty years of age, a stout, fine looking Indian. A full and flowing suit 
of hair graced his head, which was surmounted by a fantastic white head-dress 
several inches in height, resembling a turban, emblematic of his profession. 
He claimed that one of his parents was a Sac, the other a Winnebago. This 
prophet was captured with Black Hawk after the latter's defeat in Wisconsin. 
He is believed to have been one of the chief instigators of the war. 

Upon the second invasion of Black Hawk a large force of volunteers were 
called out, and put under the command of Gen. Samuel Whiteside, after whom 
this county is named. The regulars were under Gen. Atkinson. - The volun- 
teers marched up Rock River and burned Prophetstown, thence continued their 
march to Dixon. A slight engagement took place in Ogle County where the 
volunteers rendered themselves famous by the rapidity of their retreat. Dur- 
ing the summer two thousand volunteers were called for and sent to the fron- 
tier, making the whole volunteer force three thousand two hundred, besides 
three companies of rangers. The object of the large force being to overawe the 
Winnebagoes, who were disposed to join Black Hawk. This force steadily 
pressed Black Hawk's party up the river, and through the present State of 
Wisconsin, to near the mouth of the Bad Axe, on the Mississippi, when Gen. 
Heni*y, in command of the volunteers, with the assistance of the regulars under 
Gen. Atkinson, nearly exterminated the band about August 1st, 1832. Black 
Hawk with about twenty followers, and the Winnebago Prophet, escaped and 
fled. Gen. Street informed the Winnebago Chiefs that if they would pursue, 
and bring in Black Hawk and the Prophet, the Government would hold them as 
friends. The Winnebagoes had been treacherous to the whites, Winnesheik, 
one of their chiefs, with his sons, participating in the battle of Bad Axe. A 
small party of Winnebagoes and Sioux started in pursuit of the fugitives, and 


soon captured them near the Dalles on the Wisconsin River. Black Hawk and 
his son, Naapape. Wishick and the Prophet, were held as hostages for the 
good behavior of the hostile Indians. The Chiefs were confined until 1833 in 
Fortress Monroe, when by order of the President they were returned to their 
own country. The}' passed through many of the principal cities and attracted 
much attention. At the close of the war a treaty was made by which the Sacs 
and Foxes ceded large bodies of lands for an annuity of $20,000 for twenty 
years. They were removed to the neighborhood of Des Moines. By the treaty 
of 1842 they were removed to the Osage River country in 1849. In 1859 and 
1868 they ceded their lands in Kansas to the Government. In 1872 they num- 
bered four hundred and sixty-three. The tribes are scattered in Nebraska and 
Kansas, there being a small number in Iowa who are partially civilized, raise 
crops and stock, and are industrious farm laborers. 

Black Hawk was a Sac, born at the ancient village of his tribe in 1768, 
and died at an Indian village on the Des Moines in 1838. He refused to rec- 
ognize the cession of lands made in 1804, but ratified the treaty in 1816. He 
declined to give up his village in 1831, and engaged in acts that caused the 
war heretofore detailed. He always sided with the English interests, and he, 
and his band, known as the British Band, received an annual sum for many 
years after the war of 1812 from the English Grovernment. Black Hawk was 
an intelligent and brave Indian, and caused the United States much trouble. 
He was very patriotic and warmly attached to his home. His last speech con- 
tained the following words: " Rock River was a beautiful country. I like my 
towns and my corn fields, and the home of my people; I fought for it; it is 
now yours. It will produce you good crops." Black Hawk disregarded the 
treaties, yet he suffered many grievous wrongs, and believed war was his only 
hope of redress. 

It is proper in treating of the Indian History in connection with that of 
the County to briefly sketch the Winnebago tribe, the former occupants of 
Whiteside County. The Winnebagoes were a tribe of the Dakota family, for- 
merly numerous and powerful, and ruled by terror over the neighboring Algon- 
quin tribes. Early in the seventeenth century a general alliance was formed of 
other tribes, and they attacked the Winnebagoes who were driven into one town, 
where their warriors suffered great slaughter. After this the tribe was small, 
but haughty and turbulent. In 1812 they took sides with the English. In 
1820 the Winnebagoes had five principal villages on Lake Winnebago and four- 
teen on Rock River. Treaties in 1826-27 fixed their boundaries, but their land 
containing rich lead mines, which some of the Indians refused to sell, led to 
white intrusion and murders, and Red Bird, with others, was seized and con- 
victed. In 1829, for $300,000 in goods and a 30 year annuity of $18,000 they, 
under Heretshonsarp, ceded lands from the Wisconsin to Rock river. 

The Winnebago Prophet, White Cloud, as will be seen by the sketch of 
the Black Hawk war, supported the Sacs and Foxes, and projects were formed 
for the removal of the Winnebagoes. By a treaty made September, 1832, they 
ceded all lands south of the Wisconsin and Fox rivers, 2,530,000 acres, the 
United States agreeing to give them a reservation on the Mississippi above the 
Upper Iowa, and pay them $10,000 for 27 years, maintain schools, etc. They 
became unsettled and wasteful, and in 1837 made provision for a debt of $150,000 
by ceding more land. In 1842 there were seven hundred and fifty-six of them 
at Turkey river in Iowa, with as many in Wisconsin and smaller bands else- 
where. All had become roving. By the treaty of Washington in 1846, they 
surrendered their former reservation of 800,000 acres north of the St. Peters 
for $195,000. The site to which they were removed above the Wataub, west 


of the upper Mississippi, was totally unfit, and they lost largely by disease, but 
were kept there by force. In 1853 they were removed to Crow river, and by 
the treaty of 1856 they were again removed to Blue Earth County, Minn. 
Here the tribe was more settled, but when the Sioux war broke out the people 
of Minnesota demanded their removal, and in 1863 they were disarmed and re- 
moved to Crow Creek above Ft. Randall in Dakota. This place was utterly 
unsuited, offering no means of livelihood, and surrounded by wild Indians. 
Although troops tried to keep them there, 1,985 succeeded in reaching the 
Omaha reservation where they appealed for shelter. They had lost largely by 
famine and disease. In 1866 they were transferred to Winnebago, Nebraska, 
where all had to be commenced anew. In 1869 they were assigned to the care 
of the Friends, their chiefs deposed and others elected. Lands were allotted to 
such as wished to take up farms. In 1874 there were in Nebraska l,-t45 with 
farms, cottages and stock; they had three schools and dressed like the whites. 
The Winnebagoes left in Juneau, Adams and Wood Counties, Wisconsin, num- 
bered nearly 1,000. In the winter of 1873-74 they were mostly removed to 
Nebraska, a smaller tract of 128,000 acres near the main reservation being 
purchased for them, but most of them deserted as soon as they reached the 
reservation. The Catholics and Presbyterians have tried at various times to 
christianize them, but with poor results. 

Civil War of 1861-'65 — History of Regiments. 

The Civil War of 1861-"65. 

The History of Whiteside County would be incomplete without a chapter 
upon the part borne by the county in the great struggle between the North and 
the South. It is the duty of the Historian to chronicle the deeds of the brave 
men in the field and of the patriotic women and men who, away from the din 
and smoke of battle, assisted with money, and encouragement, to bring success 
to the armies. 

The gun fired upon Fort Sumter April 11th, 1861, was echoed in Whiteside 
to the most remote farm house; the loyal blood of the citizens was stirred to 
its depths, and they at once prepai'ed to afford the State and National Govern- 
ments substantial evidence of their loyalty. Almost immediately the recruiting 
of men was commenced. Meetings were held in the different towns, patriotic 
speeches were made, strains of martial music fioated upon the air, and every- 
where the National banner was displayed, and the people of Whiteside County 
solemnly resolved to stand or fall by the principles of the fathers of the Gov- 

The following resolutions, adopted in mass meeting of the citizens of 
Morrison, Monday, April 21, 1861, will serve as an index to the popular feeling 
at that time: 

Whereas, It is understood that there are those in our midst who are disloyal to 
the Union, and who are in league and sympathy with the traitors against the Govern- 
ment, therefore 

Resolved, That we will hold all sympathizers ^vith the. traitors, whether North or 
South, as enemies to our countr}', and will deal with them accordingly. 

Resolved, That the citizens of Morrison are hereby requested to display the Union 
flag as an emblem of their loyalty to the Government, and of their allegiance to its 

Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed by the Chairman whose duty it 
shall be to wait upon any who do not comply with the above resolutions, and if such 
individuals are found to be in sympathy with traitors or in any way engaged in aiding 
or abetting treason, then it shall be the duty of said committee to give such individuals 
twenty-four hours notice to leave the town. 

Resolved, That in the case of the refusal of such person or persons to leave town 
after such notice shall have been served on them, then the committee shall call to their 
, aid any assistance they may require to enable them to enforce said notice, and that the 
citizens of this town "will not be responsible for any violence or damage that may be 
done them or their property. 

Within two weeks after the firing upon Fort Sumpter Whiteside County 
had companies fully enlisted, and the enthusiasm of the people was \inbounded, 
the all absorbing topic being "the war." 

The Board of Supervisors of the county, in session at the April term, 1861, 
unanimously adopted the annexed resolutions: 

Whereas, This Board deems it proper in view of the distracted condition of public 
affairs, the great peril which threatens our beloved country, and the new duties which 
current events impose upon loyal citizens, to give public expression to the patriotic senti- 
ments of the people of this community, therefore be it 

CIVIL WAR OF i86i-'65. 41 

Resolved, That over-looking and forgetting all past political parties and differences, 
the people of Whiteside County renew their pledges of devotion and fidelity to the Gov- 
ernment of our fathers, and to the flag of our country consecrated by the blood of 
patriots, and hallowed by the thousand glorious recollections of the past. 

Rcsoh'cdy That the Government of our fathers inaugurated by the Declaration of 
Independence, and consummated by the War of the Revolution was not made for a 
day but for all time to come; that we will transmit the glorious inheritance to our pos- 
terity, to endure as long as patriotism and virtue are held in grateful remembrance, and 
the blood of heroes runs in the veins of their descendants. 

Resolved, That the Constitution of the United States having been adopted and 
ratified by the people of the original States and accepted by those which suDsequently 
became "parties to it, formed of many, one Sovereignty, vested in all the people of the 
United States and binding upon all, and that all attempts by a portion of the people 
against the will of the majority to throw off the common obligations of the Constitution 
by an appeal to arms is unauthorized and unjust to all others, and all wlio engage in any 
such measures are traitors to all Republican Governments and Democratic institutions. 

Resolved, That the people of Whiteside County endorse and applaud the patriotic 
stand taken by our Government, State and Nation, for the maintenance of the authority 
of the laws and constitution, for avenging the insult offered to our flag at Fort Sumpter, 
and for making traitors, degenerate sons of noble sires, feel the power of a brave and 
free people, and they will sustain and support the constituted authorities in all measures 
directed to those ends, with all the ability which Heaven has given them to do and to 

Measures were promptl}^ taken to provide assistance for volunteers and 
their families, and to this end the Board of Supervisors adopted the following 

Resolved, That the people of Whiteside County do, without regard to party, unani- 
mously pledge to the Governor of this State the entire resources of our county for the 
defense of our State and Union, and that we will pledge the entire credit of our county 
to furnish men or money as the Government may require. 

Resolved, That we do hereby appropriate a fund of $20,000 to be placed in the 
hands of five commissioners, to be appointed by our Chairman, to be used for the sup- 
port of needy families of volunteers while said volunteers are engaged in the service of 
their country. 

In 1861 the Legislature passed what is known as the -'Ten Regiment 
Bill." Under this act the 13th Illinois Infantry was organized, the first three 
year regiment from the State. Within two weeks two companies were recruited 
in Whiteside County for the 13th: Company B. by Major D. R. Bushnell. of 
Sterling, and Company Gr. by Captain Geo. M. Cole, of Morrison. As hostili- 
ties progressed the interest of the citizens grew apace and at a meeting of the 
Board of Supervisors it was decided to pay the board of volunteers from the 
date of their enlistment until mustered into the service. During the summer 
of 1861 recruiting for the army went on briskly and companies were formed in 
the county for the 34th Regiment of Infantry and the 8th Regiment of Cavalry; 
also for the 46th Infantry. In 1861 a large number of citizens of the county 
enlisted in the 2nd, 4th. 9th, 12th and 13th Cavalry, also fifteen or twenty men 
in the 33d Infantry, and about the same number in the 39th regiment; Homer 
A. Plimpton, of Sterling, was ]Major of the latter regiment. Soldiers from the 
county also enlisted in the 12th. 'l5th, 17th, 19th, 27th. 37th, oOth,, o7th, 
58th and 64th regiments of Infantry in 1861. In the fall of 1861 Company F. of 
the 52nd regiment, was recruited principally from Fulton and Albany townships. 
The Sturgis Rifles, Fremont's Body Guard, Barker Dragoons, First and Second 
Artillery, Cogswell's and Henshaw's Batteries, the Fusilleers, Gunboat and 
Naval service and Iowa regiments contained a large number of men from White- 
side County. 

The women were equally as earnest and enthusiastic as their husbands, 
fathers, sons and brothers. •* Soldiers' Aid and Relief Societies" were organized 



in the towns and townships of the county, with proper officers and a systematic 
plan for providing the volunteers in the field and hospitals with necessaries and 
luxuries of life so urgently demanded. Clothing, bed-clothing, cots, slippers, 
books, papers, writing paper, and hundreds of delicacies as well as thousands of 
dollars in money were sent to the army from Whiteside County. The ladies of 
the county worked nobly and lent a mighty impulse to the men in the field. It 
is impossible to fully estimate the force exerted by the women of the Nation in 
crushinf out the rebellion, and as a part of the women of the north, the women 
of Whiteside County won undying honor worthy to be ranked with the glory 
gained by the armies on the battle ground. 

July 6, 1862 the President issued a call for 300,000 men to serve three 
years, and at once the citizens of the county responded. Still later, in August, 
300,000 additional men were called for, and it being believed a draft would be 
necessary, the Secretary of War ordered an immediate enrollment of the militia. 
Whiteside County determined to fill her quota by volunteers, and as it was 
necessary to accomplish this before August 15th, work was earnestly com- 
menced. The Board of Supervisors was petitioned to pass an order paying each 
volunteer $100.00 bounty. August 5, the Board resolved to pay each man who 
should enlist under the call $60.00. War meetings were held in all parts of the 
county and recruiting officers were indefatigable in their efforts to enlist men. 
Stirring speeches were made and citizens at the meetings offered liberal pre- 
miums to the first, second and third man who should volunteer, while others 
pledged themselves to pay a stipulated sum a month to the families of those 
who should enter the service. A wave of patriotism swept over the county, 
and in a few days the quota of 359 men was filled, and still men offered 
themselves. The words of Adjutant General Fuller apply perfectly to White- 
side County : ''These volunteers must come from the farmers and mechanics of 
the State. The farmers were in the midst of harvest, and it is no exaggeration 
to say that inspired by a holy zeal, animated by a common impulse, and firmly 
resolved upon rescuing the (xovernment from the brink of ruin and restoring it 
to the condition our fathers left it, that over 50,000 of them left their harvests 
ungathered. their tools and their benches, the plows in the furrows, and turning 
their backs upon their homes, before eleven days expired met the demands of 
the Government and filled both quotas. Proud indeed was the day for 
Tllinoians, and when the Historian shall record the eventful days of August, 
1862, no prouder record can be erected to the honor and memory of a free people 
than a plain and full narrative of actual realities." 

In 1862 the 75th Illinois Regiment was recruited in Whiteside and Lee 
counties, the former county furnishing five companies which were rendezvoused 
at Dixon. Company F. of the 93d Illinois Eegiment was also enlisted in the 
county during the summer of 1862. August, 1862 the county had furnished 
1,600 men for the war, two-fifths of the voting population. During that 
month a statement was published that Erie with a voting population never 
exceeding 120 had furnished 70 volunteers. To provide for the bounties of 
soldiers and meet the heavy expenses entailed by tlie war taxed the county to 
its utmost, and at the September meeting of the Board of Supervisors resolu- 
tions were adopted by which a committee was dispatched to Chicago to effect a 
loan of $40,000. Even the dogs were compelled to do their share, as, the 
revenue derived from the taxation was ordered paid into the 'Relief Fund for 
Soldiers' Families." Money was so stringent that in 1861-62 the merchants 
issued their personal "script" in fractions of one dollar. This paper was known 
as "shin-plasters." It served its purpose, and assisted in "tiding" over until a 
more substantial currency came into circulation. 

CIVIL WAR OF i86x-'65. 43 

In the latter part of 1863 and spring of 1864 large bodies of men were 
furnished from Whiteside County to fill the thinned ranks of the regiments in 
the field. In 18G4 a large proportion of the men whose terms of service had 
nearly expired re-enlisted for three years or during the war. In 1864 the 
President issued a call for 100,000 men to serve one-hundred days in garrison 
duty to relieve the volunteers who were demanded for a grand forward move- 
ment. The call fell principally on the west and northwestern states. The 
County of Whiteside voted $25.00 to each man who should enlist under the call. 
In a few days two full companies and nearly half of a third were recruited in 
the county. Company A, 81 men, Company B, 83 men, and Company D, Fulton 
Cadets, members of the college of that town. The companies were assigned to the 
140th Regiment. The regimental oificers from Whiteside County were M. W. 
Smith, Lieut. Col., L.E. B. Holt, Adjutant, and W. A. Lipe, Chaplain. Oificers, 
Company A — J.A.Morgan, Captain; Charles M. WorthingtonandBenj. Gurtisen, 
Lieutenants. Company B — Charles W. Hills, Captain. George H. Fay and 
Erastus Fuller, Lieutenants. 

At the September meeting of the Board of Supervisors it was decided to 
pay all men who should enlist under the call for 500,000 men a bounty of 
$200.00, and at the same meeting $10,000 was appropriated for the relief of 
the families of volunteers. LTp to 1864, the county had furnished one hundred 
men for every 100,000 called for, and was drained of able bodied men to such an 
extent that it was with difficulty that the crops were gathered. September 27th, 
1864, the county owed 87 men and a draft was appointed for October 5th. To evade 
this, subscription papers were circulated and large sums raised to be added to 
the $200.00 bounty of the county. Mt. Pleasant subscribed $3,000 which was 
apportioned among seven men owed on quota. Other towns were equally 
liberal, and all escaped the conscription except Hahnaman, at that time a 
sparsely settled and financially poor township. Three citizens were drafted. 
The only conscription suffered by Whiteside Count); during the long and ex- 
hausting war. 

The last call for troops, 300,000, was made December 19th, 1864. The 
quota of Whiteside County under this call was 250 men. It was thought to be 
an impossibility to raise this number of men from the able bodied population of 
the county, and a draft was considered inevitable, and so published by the 
county press, yet the citizens resolved to honor the call of the Nation with 
volunteers, and at the December term of the Board of Supervisors a bounty of 
$500.00 to each man who should enlist was voted, and at the February term an 
additional $100.00. The different townships also voted a tax sufficient to pay 
each volunteer $100.00. Recruiting was vigorously prosecuted and by untiring 
efforts the quota was filled and the conscription averted. In addition to the 
men sent to the old regiments in the field 81 men were enlisted for Company B, 
147th Regiment, also a large number for Co. G, 156th Regiment, was recruited 
in the county. 

In 1865 the war closed, recruiting was ordered to cease, the armies were 
mustered out, and the men returned to their homes and usual avocations. In 

1860 the population of Whiteside County was 18,729. In 1863 the enrollment 
was 3,328 ; in 1864, 3.338 ; and in 1865, 3,338. The quota of the county in 

1861 was 525 men ; in 1862, 359 men ; March 4, 1864, 726 men ; July 18, 
1864, 519 men. Total quota prior to December 31, 1864, 2,129 men. Total 
credits prior to December 31, 1864, 2,019 men. The county's deficit December 
31, 1864, was 110 men. December 31, 1865, the assigned quota of the 
county was 520 men ; Total quota of the county December 31, 1865, 2,539. 


Total credit under last call, 516. Entire credit during tlie war, 2.535 men. 
Deficit under all calls during the war, 4 men. 

The expenses of the war were enormous and taxation necessarily high. 
The indebtedness caused by the Eebellion to Whiteside County was $529,402.17. 
P'ortunately it was resolved to pay the indebtedness at once, during the times 
of high prices for produce, and abundance of money, as was the case at the 
close'of hostilities. September, 1867, 70 per cent of the debt of the county 
was paid and every order of the county stood at par. In a fcAV years the entire 
indebtedness was paid, and the treasury plentifully supplied with money. To 
the citizens of the county who urged and secured immediate payment of the 
war debt, the tax payers owe a debt of gratitude. 

To complete the narrative of AVhiteside County's part in the great struggle 
it will be proper to briefly sketch the salient points of the campaigns of the 
regiments in which the county was represented by campaigns : 

History of Eegiments. 

8th lUinois Caved nj. 
This regiment was recruited in Northern Illinois, and organized at St. 
Charles, Kane County, in September, 1861, and mustered the 18th day of the 
same month. Company C. was raised for the regiment by D. K. Clendenin, then a 
citizen of Morrison, who was afterwards Major and Lieutenant Colonel of the 
organization and promoted Brevet Brigadier General. The Company was com- 
manded by Alpheus Clark, of Lyndon, until May 24, 1863, when he was pro- 
moted Major. He was wounded at the battle of Beverly Ford, Virginia, June 
9, 1863. from the efi'ects of which he died July 5, 1863. The Company com- 
manders, after the promotion of Captain Clark, were Daniel D. Lincoln and 
Porteus J. Kennedy. The First Lieutenants were John C. Mitchell, Truman 
Culver and Delos P. Martin. Second Lieutenants: Clarence N. McLemore 
and Charles S. Gilbert. The latter officer was mortally wounded in the defences 
of Washington and died July 12, 1864. 

The entire county was represented in Company C. Whiteside also fur- 
nished men to Companies G. H. and I. In October the regiment proceeded to 
Washington, where the men were subjected to drill and discipline for about 
two months, then transferred to Alexandria, Virginia, where the winter was 
passed. While lying here Company C. lost Asa W. Shelby, Joy T. Canfield, 
W. J. Davis, John Porter and Kollin C. Sholes, by disease. March 10, 1862, the 
Eighth, as a portion of Gen. Sumner's division, of the grand army, joined the 
advance on Manassas, and saw its first fighting on the Bappahannock Biver in 
April. May 4, 1862, the regiment was moved to Williamsburg, and assigned 
to Gen. Stolieman's Light Brigade. The battle of Williamsburg was participa- 
in by the Eighth. During the eventful days of the l^euinsular Campaign, the 
'•Big Abolition Begiment,' as President Lincoln named the Eighth, nobly per- 
formed its duty. June 26, 1862, six companies met the enemy under Gen. 
Jackson, at Mechanicsville, and had a stubborn fight. While on the Chicka- 
hominy the regiment was complimented by Gen. Sumner. A New York officer 
enquired of the General how far to the front he should go, and was answered — 
'• As far as you dare go, and you will find the Eighth Illinois Cavalry ahead 
stealing horses." When the change of base was made by the army, the regi- 
ment did most important duty. At Gaines' Hill, Dispatch Station and Malvern 
Hill, the Eighth won new laurels. It was in the extreme rear of the army and 
was engaged in an almost continuous skirmish with the advancing Confederate 


cavalry. At the time of the second occupation of Malvern Hill the regiment 
led the advance, and did heavy fighting. John Duggan. of Company C., was 
killed in the battle, and Lieut. Col. (lamble severely wounded. When the Fed- 
eral army retreated from Barrett's Ford the Eighth hovered upon the rear and 
were the last to cross the river. The '' Peninsular Campaign" was a failure, 
and the regiment, with other troops, was shipped from Yorktown and arrived at 
their starting point, Alexandria, September 1st, 1862. September 4th, the 
order to " march" came, and the Eighth filed across the Potomac. At Pools- 
ville, IVfaryland, the enemy were again met, and a dashing fight resulted. At 
Monocacy Church the regiment captured the colors of the Twelfth A^irgiiiia 
Rebel Cavalry. The Eighth went through the hard fights of Barnsville, Sugar 
Loaf Mountain, South Mountain and Boonsboro, winning new glory. At South 
Mountain the fight was hand to hand between the Eighth and Fitzhugh Lee's 
rebel troopers. In these engagements the regiment captured two guns and two 
hundred prisoners. At Antietam the Eighth was engaged prominently, and 
was in the advance of the Potomac army, and was engaged at Philemont, Union- 
town, IJpperville, Borbee's Cross Roads, Little Washington and Amesville. 
The regiment arrived at Falmouth November 23, 1862. November 15, 1862, 
Chas. F. Brauer, of Company C, accidentally shot himself while cleaning his 
pistol. The Eighth was engaged at Fredericksburg and crossed the pontoons 
under a heavy fire. It was on the left flank of the army across the Peninsula 
and up the Rappahannock to Port Conway, when it was moved to Dumfries. 
Loss, up to this time, twenty-seven killed, seventy-one wounded, twenty 

During the campaign of 1863, the regiment was actively employed, and 
was engaged at Sulphur Springs, W^arrenton, Rapidan, Northern Neck, Borstly 
Ford, IJpperville, Fairville, Pa., Gettysburg, Williamsburg, Md., Boonsboro, 
Funktown, Falling Water, Chester Gap, Sandy Hook, Culpepper, Brandy Sta- 
tion, and in the raid from Dumphries to Falmouth, Pony Mountain, Raccoon 
Ford, Liberty Mills, Manassas, Warrentown Junction, Roxleysville, Mitchell's Sta- 
tion and Ely's Ford. Loss in campaign, twenty-three killed, one hundred and six- 
teen wounded, thirty-seven missing. The Eighth commenced the campaign of 1864 
with ranks recruited, and rendered good service in the defences of Washington, 
at Frederick City, and on the Monocacy. A number of fights occurred with 
(len. Early and the guerrillas of Mosby. Many rebel prisoners were picked up 
and property destroyed, and the regiment was actively engaged in the pursuit 
nf the assassin of Preside'nt Lincoln. Col. Clendenin, of the regiment, was 
appointed one of the court to try the conspirators. The Eighth was mustered 
out of service at Benton Barracks, Missouri, July 17, 1865. 

The Eighth furnished a large number of staff officers, twenty-two ofiicers 
for colored regiments, three colonels, two majors, two surgeons, and a number 
of captains for other Illinois regiments; also two full Brigadier Generals and 
five Brigadiers by Brevet. OflScers from the Eighth also entered the regular 
army at the close of the war, one of them being Gen. Clendenin, now major of 
the Eighth U. S. Regular Cavalry. The ranks of the Eighth Illinois Cavalry 
were generally well filled, and the aggregate strength was 2,412 men. The 
men of Company C, in addition to those mentioned heretofore, who died in the 
service, were Jas. E. Wilson, died of disease, 1862, Thos. Freek, died at Erie. 
Illinois, 1865, Joseph Reed, killed at Piedmont, Virginia, October 9, 1864. Ezra 
F. Sands, died of wounds at Stevensburg, Virginia, October 11, 1863, Adam 
Cornrad, died of wounds July 11, 1863, H. B. Meyers, died at Union Grove. 
Illinois, January 2, 1864, Alf. Beardsworth, died at Fairfax Court House, Vir- 
ginia, January 23, 1865, J. W. Heaton, died at Giesboro Point, April 27, 1864, 


Austin Martin, died at Frederick City, October 15, 1862. and T. W. Perkins, at 
St. Charles, Illinois, April, 1864. 

The original Company C. numbered ninety-seven men, every man of whom 
was from Whiteside County. In 1864, forty-nine of the men re-enlisted. 
Eighty-six men were recruited for the company during the war, in addition to 
the original muster. The total enlistment for the company from Whiteside 
County was 172 men exclusive of officers. The county was well represented in 
other companies of the regiment. 

13^/i Illitiois Infantn/ 
W^as organized under the "Ten Regiment Bill," at Dixon, Illinois, and 
mustered into service May 24th, 1861. The rebel disturbances called for prompt 
action at St Louis and in Missouri, and the Thirteenth was ordered to Casey- 
ville, June 16th, and Jxily 6th to Rollo, Missouri, October 10th to Springfield, 
Missouri, and November 10th, back to Rollo where it wintered. The regiment 
was given but little opportunity to distinguish itself, but a detachment man- 
aged to get into the Wilson Creek fight. In March, 1862, the Thirteenth started 
upon its '-big march," going to Pea Ridge, Arkansas, thence to Batesville, thence 
to Helena, Arkansas. Apparently the most circuitous routes were travelled, 
and it is estimated that the soldiers ''measured 1,200 miles with their legs." 
December 22d, 1862, the Thirteenth left Helena for Vicksburg by steamer, 
and December 26th, landed on Yazoo River fifteen miles from its mouth near 
Vicksburg and commenced skirmishing with the rebels. December 27th, ap- 
proached Vicksburg and met the enemy. December 28th, was in the hard 
fought battle of Chickasaw Bayou, where Col. Wyman was killed. December 
29th, the brigade to which the Thirteenth was attached made a terrible charge 
upon the Confederate works and carried the first line, but being unsupported 
were obliged to fall back. They lost 160 men killed, wounded and missing. 
Company Gr went into the fight with fifty men and lost twenty-three, nine 
killed, ten wounded and four missing. The killed of Company Gr were T. J. 
Kennedy, John E. Hayes, Thomas Riley, LaFayette DeGrroot, Thomas 
Comstock, J. D. Sperry, Frank D. Johnson, John C. Richards and Alvin Bar- 
tholomew. The Thirteenth evacuated the Yazoo with other forces December 
31st, 1862. Then went up Arkansas River and was engaged at Arkansas Post, 
January 11th, 1863. Returningto Vicksburg, went on the Green River expedition 
and had a running fight of four days with the rebel Greneral Forrest. The reg- 
iment afterwards lay at Young's Point, opposite Vicksburg, until spring, working 
upon the "famous canal," and when the fleet ran the blockade,, with the army 
marched down on the Louisiana side and crossed the river at Grand Glulf. May 
13th, 1863, the regiment was specially selected to go on a secret expedition in 
the night, to establish communication between the 13th and 15tli corps ; in 
this it was successful, although passing very near 1,400 confederates. May 
14th, the 13th saw fighting at Raymond and Jackson, Mississippi, and at 
Champion Hills. After returning to Vicksburg, engaged in assaults upon the 
fortifications until the surrender. Was in the Jackson campaign when Joe. 
Johnston was besieged two weeks, and then destroyed railroads from Jackson to 
Bolton; afterwards laid in rear of Vicksburg during the summer. Thence pro- 
ceeded to Chatanooga ; at Tuscumbia, Alabama, fought General Forrest. By 
the destruction of the pontoon the First Division of the corps was unable to 
cross the river with the corps and thus fell under orders of General Hooker, 
and was in the battle of Lookout Mountain, November 24th, 1863. November 
25th, turned the enemy's left flank at Rossville, capturing a battery. Here the 
13th captured the battle flag of the 18th Alabama Regiment. November 27th, 


was in the bloody battle of Ringgold, where Major D. R. Bushnell, of Sterling, 
was killed. The regiment went into the fight with 216 men and left -14 dead 
upon the field and a number wounded. After Ringgold went into winter 
quarters at Woodville, Alabama. In the spring of 1864 the decimated regiment 
successfully fought 3,000 of Roddy's rebel cavalry at Madison Station. June 
18th, 1864, the remnant of the 13th was mustered out, and the few survivors, 
whose time had not expired, were consolidated with the 56th Illinois as 
Company I. Company B was recruited at Sterling and numbered 86 men. 
During the term of service received 22 recruits — 97 of the entire membership 
were (Titizens of Whiteside County. The officers of the Company were Captains: 
D. R. Bushnell, afterwards Major, and George P. Brown, of Fulton. First 
Lieutenants : N. C. Cooper, J. M. Patterson. Second Lieutenants : Wm. M. 
Kilgour and John J. Russell. Company G. was recruited at Morrison by 
Captain Geo. M. Cole, 77 strong. During service 29 recruits were received— 
77 of the company were from Whiteside County. Captains, Geo. M. Cole 
and Wm. M. Jenks; First Lieutenant, Silas M. Jackson; Quartermasters, Wm. 
C. Henderson and John S McClary were also from Whiteside County. 

The following deaths Company B: Gideon Brown died February 1, '63, 
wounds; Henry C. Osgood, March 22, '62; Alfred Carpenter, August 8, '63; 
James Guild, died at New Orleans; Benj. Judd, September 21, '61; Homer. 
B. Silliman, September 16, '61; John Stackhouse, May 25, '63; Wm. Cross, 
July 14, '63; Henry Hansen, October 5, '61; Thomas Randall killed at 
Helena, September 8, '62; Abarutliur Sutliff died August 8, '63. Company G 
lost in addition to those killed at Chickasaw Bayou: Aaron B. Jackson, died 
November 30, '61; Robert S. Anthony, December 19, '61; S. E. Austin, 
January 23, '63, wounds; Sylvester Baldry, February 12, '63; Leonard Chesley 
July 30, "63; A. M. French, March 17, '64; Samuel Genung, April 3, '63, wounds; 
Addison Jackson, December 1, '63, wounds; Daniel Nichols, February 26, '62; 
Wm. Proll, December 27, '61 ; James S. Peck, drowned May 28, '62 ; John 
Bobbins died February 20, '63; Arlin E. L. Thurber, December 24, '61 ; David 
J. Whited, October 6, '61 ; H. 0. Alden, November 5, '61 ; H. C. Frisbee, 
September 25, '63; Isaac Skyman, October 13, '63. 

S4:th lUinnis Infantry. 
The 34th Regiment was organized at Camp Butler, September 7, 1861. by 
Col.E. N. Kirk of Sterling, Companies A and B and a portion of D, I and K 
were from Whiteside County. Company A was enlisted at Sterling, and num- 
bered 98 men exclusive of officers; with but two exceptions the original members 
of the company were all from this county. During the term of service the 
company received 85 recruits, and January, 1864, 43 of the original company 
re-enlisted as veterans. Of the entire membership of the company, 166 
were citizens of Whiteside County. The company commanders were : E. 
Brooks Ward, Peter Ege and William C Robinson. Captain Ege was after- 
wards Major and Colonel of the regiment. Ward resigned and Robinson com- 
manded the company to close of the war. First Lieutenants: Jonathan A. 
Morgan, Lewis D. Wescott and R. J. Heath. Second Lieutenants: Edwin C 
Payne and Edward Whitcomb. Company B was enlisted principally at 
Morrison by H. W. Bristol, and was locally known as the "Whiteside Blues." 
The company numbered 100 men, 98 being from Whiteside county; 35 of the 
men "veteraned" and 68 recruits were received while in the service. White- 
side county furnished 130 of the entire membership of the company. The 
company commanders were Hiram W. Bristol, afterwards promoted to be Major 
and Lieutenant Colonel, John A. Parrott, killed at Resaca May 14, '64, and 


David Cleveland. First Lieutenants : Cornelius Quackenbush, Leland L. 
Johnson and David L. Eagle. Second Lieutenants : Thomas Marshall and 
Phillip S. King. In Company K. Robert J. Thompson, Clinton B. Minchen 
and E. P. Beardsley of Prophetstown held Lieutenant's commission.'*. Ad- 
jutants David Leavitt and Jesse H. Clements, and Quartermaster Jabez B. Rob- 
inson were from Whiteside county. 

The 34th Regiment was moved to Lexington, Kentucky, October 2, 1861, 
thence to Camp Nevin, Kentucky, thence to BoAvling Green, and Nashville, 
Franklin, Columbia and Savannah on the Tennessee river. April 7, 1862, the 
regiment was hotly engaged at Pittsburg Landing, losing a Major and 15 men 
and 112 Avounded; also at Corinth. The 3-lth was also at luka, Florence, 
Athens, Huntsville and Stevenson. The regiment w^as also in the race for Louis- 
ville via Pelham, Murfreesboro and Nashville. The marching qualities of the 
regiment won for the soldiers the title of "McCook's Cavalry.'" October 1, 

1862. started for Nashville and marched and skirmished the distance. December 
27, the regiment met the enemy at Triune and withstood severe fighting. Suf- 
fered severely at Murfreesboro, the loss being 21 killed, 93 wounded and ^Q 
missing. Col. Kirk received a wound here from the effects of which he died 
July, J863. 

On the 25th of June, 1863, the Second Brigade, Twentieth Corps, of which 
the regiment formed a part, was ordered forward toward Liberty Gap, and with- 
out help, and in the face of a rebel brigade advantageously posted, drove the 
enemy from his position — the 2nd Arkansas Infantry leaving their battle flag 
on the hill, where they fought in front of the 34th. The regiment lost 3 killed 
and 26 wounded. It afterwards moved to different points, sometimes acting as 
Provost Guard, and others in guarding pontoon bridges, until November 25th, 

1863, when it was ordered to join the Brigade on the battle field of Chatta- 
nooga, where they arrived at 11 o'clock, p. M., meeting the retreating enemy 
near Graysville, and engaged there for a short time. In December, 1864, the 
regiment was mustered as a veteran organization, and after receiving veteran 
furlough, went back to Chattanooga, by the way of Louisville and Nashville, 
arriving at Chattanooga March 7, 1864, from whence it joined the Second Bri- 
gade, then in camp near Rossville, Georgia, and took an active part in the war 
until its conclusion. The 34th was mustered out July 12, 1865, at Louisville, 
Kentucky, and arrived at Chicago, July 16. 1865, for final payment and dis- 

46^/i JUinois Infantry. 
The regiment was organized at Camp Butler, December 28th, 1861, by 
Col. John A. Davis of Stephenson County, who was mortally wounded at the 
battle of Hatchie. Company E. of this regiment was a AVhiteside company. 
Wm. Lane, of Morrison, Wm. N. Haney, of Hopkins, Albert Seizick, of Morri- 
son and Sani'l V. Boyer, of Fulton, were Lieutenants in the company. The 
regiment was at Fort Donelson and Fort Henry. Was assigned to Gen. Ilurlburt's 
Division, afterwards known as "Hurlburt's Fighting Fourth Division." The 
46th suffered severely at Shiloh, losing one half of its men and ofiiccrs, killed, 
wounded and missing. The regiment was engaged at Corinth; at Hatchie won 
new laurels; until the siege of Vicksburg was engaged in skirmishing and march- 
ing. In May, 1863, five companies were captured by the rebels while on picket 
duty ; 70 of the men afterwards escaped. Hard fighting and marching was the 
lot of the organization until January, 1864, when it was mustered as a veteran 
regiment. Company E. numbered 31 men at expiration of term of service, and 
of this number 30 re-enlisted. Until the close of the war the 46th performed 


valiant service. Of the entire membership of the company, veterans and re- 
cruits, 74 were from Whiteside County. 

The Company lost by death, Wm. Morton, June 6, '62 ; John McClintock, 
October 16, "62; D. D. Blodgett, March 6, '62; Henry Creighton, July 13, '62; 
John W. Correll, IMay 7, '62; Columbus Dodge, May 4, '62; Jonathan Eads, 
May 12, '62; John T. Frank, June 10, '62; David Hays, April 9, '62; Joseph 
R. Kennedy, September 9, '63 ; Silas N. Lenhart, May 2, '62 ; Corlo Lenhart, 
May 4, '62; Jas. S. Martin, May 16, '62; Joseph Pearl, June 27, '63; John F. 
S. Wilbur, May 13, '62 ; Robert Imlay, July 7, '64 ; Ralph L. Carpenter, Jan- 
uary 9, '65; John Shumake, August 17, '65; Robt. W. Turney, October 20, 
'64 ; Isaac N. Thorp, drowned January 3, '65 ; Chas. 0. White, July 22, '64. 
All from Whiteside County. 

b'2d llUnoh Infantry. 

In 1861, 66 men were enlisted in Whiteside County for Company F. of 
this regiment, principally from Fulton and Albany. Nine recruits from the 
county were afterwards received. Officers from the county — Captains: Nathan 
P. Herrington and Oscar Summers; First Lieutenants: Lucien S. Kinney and 
Luther A. Calvin; Second Lieutenants: John Dyer and Stephen Withrow. 

The 52d Regiment mustered into the service November 19, 1861, with 
945 men. Moved to St. Louis, thence to St. Joseph, thence to Cairo, thence to 
Smithland. Arrived at Fort Donelson February 17, 1862, escorted prisoners to 
Chicago. March 20th arrived at Pittsburg Landing. The regiment was prom- 
inently engaged at Shiloh losing 170 men; also at Corinth where 70 men were 
lost; October 13th, moved to Hatchie river; December, 1862, went upon expedi- 
tion into Alabama and had an engagement near Little Bear Creek. December 
19th, was on expedition to intercept Forrest and marched 100 miles in four and 
a half days. January 2, 1863, moved to Tennessee river, January 26th to Ham- 
burg, Tennessee, February 25th to Jacinto, Mississippi, from thence to Corinth. 
In April advanced into Alabama; April 20th, met the enemy; April 27th and 
28th was engaged with the rebels and entered Corinth May 2, 1863. Nothing 
of great importance in the history of the regiment transpired until January 
9, 1864, when three-fourths of the men re-enlisted and returned home on fur- 
lough. February 24th the regiment was sent to Pulaski, Tennessee, and arrived 
at Chattanooga May 2d. Was in the Atlanta campaign, particularly in the 
battles of Snake Creek Gap, Resaca, Lay's Ferry, Rome Cross Roads, Dallas, 
Kenesaw, Nickajack, Decatur, Atlanta and Jonesboro. The 52d was in the 
"March to the Sea," in the Carolina campaign and at the battles of Bentonville 
and Goldsboro; was in grand review at Washington; mustered out July 5,1865. 

l^th Illinois Regiment. 
This noted regiment was recruited in Whiteside and Lee Counties. Com- 
panies B, C, D, H and I being from Whiteside County. Company B was 
recruited by Captain John Whallon, of Lyndon, Lieut. James Blean, of Newton, 
and others. Company C at Morrison by John E. Bennett, E. Altman and Geo. 
R. Shaw. Company D was recruited under the auspices of the Chicago Board 
of Trade, but owing to a misunderstanding joined the regiment at Dixon. Com- 
panyH was enlisted by efforts of John G. Price and J. W.R. Stambaugh. Company 
I, the " Reaper Company," was principally recruited in Sterling, Erie, Fulton 
and Ustick, by efforts of Col. Kilgour and others. The regimental officers from 
Whiteside County were Col. John E. Bennett, promoted Brevet Brigadier Gen- 
eral, Wm. M. Kilgour, Lieutenant Colonel, promoted Brevet Brigadier General, 
Henry Utley, surgeon, and Wm, H. Smith, chaplain. Captains of Company B; 



John Whallon, C. B. Hubbard and Chas. R. Richards; First Lieutenant: 
Albert M. Gillett; Second Lieutenants: James Blean and Elisha Bull. Company 
C, Captains: Ernst Altman, Geo. R. Shaw; First Lieutenant: P. S. Bannister; 
Second Lieutenants: Thomas G. Bryant and Henry C. Parrott. Company D, 
Captain: Andrew 3IcMoore; First Lieutenants: Joseph E Colby and Francis A. 
Caughey; Second Lieutenants: Edward H. Barber, R. L. Mangan and John 
Stauffer. Company H, Captains: John G. Price, Joseph W. R. Stambaugh and 
Frank Bingham; First Lieutenant: John L. Newton; Second Lieutenants: 
Abner R. Hurless and Flavins M. Wolf. Company I, Captains: Robert Hale 
and Amos B. Segur: First Lieutenants: Joel A. Fife and Lewis E. Chubbuck; 
Second Lieutenants: Ezekiel Kilgour and James H. Woodburn. 

The regiment was organized at Dixon, September 2, 1862, and September 
27th, ordered to Louisville, Kentucky. October 8th a little more than a month 
after the organization of the regiment, it was engaged in the bloody battle of 
Perryville or Champliu Hills. Loss 47 killed, 166 wounded and 12 missing. 
The men of the regiment were fresh from their homes, but fought like veterans. 
Gen. Mitchell officially said: "The 75th Illinois, having a reputation to gain as 
soldiers, nobly did the work before them." In this battle Lieut. Blean was 
killed, and Lieut. Col. Kilgour so severely wounded that it was supposed his wound 
was mortal. The regiment with other troops pursued the retreating enemy into 
Tennessee. December 31, 1862, the 75th was engaged at Murfreesboro and 
lost heavily; also in the sanguinaiy struggle at Liberty Gap. 

The winter was spent in inactivity, but the spring and summer brought 
stirring times for the regiment. In September the 75th was at the battle of 
the Chickamauga, and from thence moved to Chattanooga. The organization 
bore an honorable part in the hard fought battles of Lookout Mountain, Mis- 
sionary Ridge and Ringgold. The winter was passed at Whiteside, the monot- 
ony being broken by a reconnoisance in front of Dalton. At Resaca the regi- 
ment was engaged and participated in the fights at Pine Mountain, Lost Moun- 
tain. Kenesaw, Adairsville, Culp's farm. Peach Tree Creek, Jonesboro and Love- 
joy Station; also in the series of battles and skirmishes before Atlanta. 

After the fall of this rebel stronghold the regiment moved hastily to Nash- 
ville, fighting Hood before that city, and being engaged at Franklin and in the 
defence of Pulaski. After the defeat of Gen. Hood went upon an expedition 
in eastern Tennessee. 

The 75th was in service two years and nine months. Lost 64 men killed, 
31 died of wounds, and 91 of disease. 216 were discharged for disability; 184 
men were wounded. Total casualties, 586. No regiment in the service has a 
brighter or more deserving record. 

93d Illinois Infantry. 
The regiment was organized in September, 1862, 998 men, by Col. Holden 
Putman, of Freeport, afterwards killed at Mission Ridge, November 29, 1863. 
Company F: 99 men were recruited in Whiteside County, from Garden Plain, 
Fulton, Mt. Pleasant, Newton, Albany, Erie and Fenton. Captains of the Com- 
pany: Alfred F. Knight, who died April 29, 1863, Wm. A. Payne and Wm. M. 
Herrold; First Lieutenants: John Dyer and Henry 31. Eddy; Second Lieuten- 
ant: Robert A. Adams, who died of wounds. Dr. C. A. Griswold, of Fulton, 
M'as surgeon. The regiment was assigned to Gen. Grant's army, and went 
through the Northern 3Iississippi campaign; went through on the " Yazoo Pass 
Expedition." The next April commenced the Vicksburg campaign; was at 
Jackson, Mississippi, 3Iay 14th, being in the advance at the battle. On the 
16th participated in the fight at Champion Hills, and sufi'ered severely. During 


the same month was engaged in the assaults upon Yicksburg until the middle 
of June. The regiment went from Vicksburg to Jackson and back, thence to 
Helena, Arkansas, thence to Memphis, Chattanooga and Bridgeport, Alabama. 
Was next engaged at Mission Ridge, losing a large number of men. Pursued 
the rebels to Grayson. Moved to Huntsville, Alabama, and in December was 
at Dalton. In the spring and summer of 1864 the 93d marched over much of 
the soil of Alabama, and in the autumn moved to Allatoona. In October the 
regiment was a part of the force of 2,100 that "held the Fort" against 7,000 
confederates through a desperate fight, signally beating them. November 12, 
1864, the regiment started upon the memorable "march to the sea," and reached 
the enemy's lines before Savannah, Georgia, December 10, 1864. The 93d 
skirmished with the rebels about the city until December 21st, when it marched 
into the city, where it remained until January 19, 1865. Went through the 
"Campaign of the Carolinas," and arrived at Columbia February 17, 1865. 
From Columbia the march was continued to E^leigh, that town being reached 
April 14th. The march was then continued via Petersburg and Richmond to 
Washington, where the regiment participated in the grand review May 24th, 
and was mustered out, receiving final pay and discharge July 7, 1865. The 
93d was in service two years and seven months. The ofiicial report says: 
" The casualties in battles of the 93d Illinois Regiment were 446 killed, and one 
officer and 31 men accidentally wounded. The regiment has marched 2,554 
miles, traveled by water 2,296 miles, by rail 1,237 miles. Total, 6,087 miles." 

Company F lost by death: Joseph A. Wilbur, July 13, '63, wounds; Chas. 
Doty, May 23, '63, wounds; Henry E. Allen, disease, July 13, '63; Edward P. 
Bliss, May 17, '63, wounds; Francis M. Baird, May 23, '63, wounds; John H. 
Brightman, killed at Vicksburg, May 23, '63; Wm. Bennett, killed at Champion 
Hills, May 16, '63; M. K. Booth, died, August 25, '63; Henry Hawk, October 
5, '63, wounds; Henry Lewis, died, July 13, '63, wounds; Patrick Marren, killed 
at Champion Hills, May 16, '63; John McCline, killed at Champion Hills, May 
16, '63; Asa W. Mitchell, killed at Mission Ridge, November 26, '63; Ira A. 
Payne, killed at Mission Ridge, November 26, '63; L. S. McAllister, died, Jan- 
uary 28, '63; Russell S. Park, killed at Allatona, Georgia, October 5, '64; 
Thomas Say, killed at Champion Hills, May 16, '63; James M. York, died, 
March 2, '63. 

140th Illinois Regiment. 

This regiment was enlisted in the Spring of 1864, lender the call for 
troops to serve one hundred days, to take the place of veterans, who were needed 
for active service. Two whole companies and part of another were formed in 
this county. For list of ofiicers see the preceding part of this chapter. The 
regiment was mustered into service at Dixon, Illinois, in June, 1864, and was 
immediately sent to Memphis. From thence companies were sent to different 
points on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad, relieving veteran troops. The 
regiment garrisoned these stations for several months, when it returned to 
Memphis and proceeded to Chicago to be mustered out. At this time the rebel 
General Price was in Missouri with a large force, and St. Louis feeling herself 
endangered, troops were ordered to that place, among them the 140th Regiment. 
After doing duty along the line of the Iron Mountain Railway for several weeks, 
the regiment returned to Chicago and received its discharge October 29th, 1864. 

The one hundred day troops served the purpose of the Government well in 
a time of special need, and each member of these regiments received a hand- 
somely engraved certificate embodying the thanks of the President, signed by 
President Lincoln and Secretary of State Seward. 


147th Illinois Infantry. 

This regiment was enlisted to serve one year, and mustered into the 
service February 19, 1865. Company B was from Whiteside county, also a 
large proportion of Company G. Company B was officered by George H. Fay, 
Captain, and AV. H. H. Jones and Charles Bent, Lieutenants. Company G was 
commanded by A. C. Bardwell. Frank Clendenin, of Morrison, was Major of 
the regiment. 

February 25th, the 147th arrived at Nashville, thence to Chattanooga and 
Dalton, Georgia. March 13th, dispersed guerillas at Mill Creek. March 20th 
was on Spring Place Expedition. March 28th, to llinggold. In April had a 
number of skirmishes with the rebels on the Coosawatchie river. June 2Gth, 
moved to JMarietta, thence to Macon, Andersonville, Americus and Albany, 
Georgia. October 28th, to Hawkinsville, Georgia. November 25th, to Savannah 
Georgia, where it remained until January 21, 1866. The 147th was mustered 
out January 20, 1866, and returned to Springfield, Illinois, where it was 
discharged in February, being one of the last Illinois regiments to be discharged. 

156^/t Illinois Regiment. 
Company G of this regiment was from Whiteside County, and numbered 100 
men. Captain: Chauncey B. Hubbard; Lieutenants: William H. Shears and 
Peter K. Boyd. The regiment was in service until September 20, 1856, 
being engaged in garrison duty, watching guerillas and escorting prisoners. 
The company lost a number of men by disease. The regiment served about six 
months of the one year for which it was enlisted. 

Twelve years have elapsed since the last of the foe laid down their arms; 
the great armies called into being have been disbanded, and as good citizens, 
in the quiet avocations of the merchant, the husbandman, artisan and pro- 
fessions, become as renowned in peace as in war. The weeds of the widow, 
mother and daughter have well nigh disappeared, yet thousands of hearts 
sadly turn to the graves in Northern cemeteries, and unmarked trenches on 
Southern battle fields, where the sod covers the clay once wrapped in the 
blue. Hundreds of Whiteside's noble sons sleep upon the battle fields, where 
with sabre and bayonet they wrote their title to glory in blood. 

"On Fame's eternal camping ground 
Their snowy tents are spread, 
And glory guards with solemn round 
The bivouac of the dead." 


Name op County — Geographical Description — Early Organization — 
Precincts — Early Records — First State Roads — First Officers 
— County Commissioners' Court — Township Organization — Board 
OP Supervisors — County Seat Affairs — County Buildings — Cir- 
cuit Court — Probate and County Courts — Early Pioneer Life 
and Incidents — Congressional Districts — Senatorial and Repre- 
sentative Districts — List of Public Officers — Statistics, Popu- 
lation, Etc. 

Name of County. 

Whiteside County was named in honor of Gen. Samuel Whiteside, a brave 
and distinguished officer, who participated in the Indian wars in this section 
of the country from 1812 until the close of the Black Hawk war. During 
the latter he was first Major, afterwards Colonel, then General of Volun- 
teers. In his pursuit of Black Hawk in 1832, he passed through this section, 
and burned Prophet's Town. Gen. Whiteside was a native of Rutherford County, 
North Carolina, and came to Illinois Territory about the year 1806, and settled 
in what is now Madison County. Besides holding the positions severally of 
Captain, Major, Colonel and General Commanding of forces against the hostile 
Indians, he was frequently elected and appointed to civil offices of trust and 
honor. He died in 1861, and was buried near the home of his daughter in 
Christian County, Illinois. Gen. Whiteside participated actively in the affairs 
of this State at an early day, was a man of unsullied integrity, great sagacity, 
generous impulses, and was highly esteemed by the wide circle of people who 
knew him. 

Geographical Description. 
Whiteside County lies in the north-western part of Illinois, and is inter- 
sected by Rock river. It is bounded on the north by Carroll and Ogle Counties, 
east by Ogle and Lee Counties, south by Henry and Bureau Counties, and 
west by the Mississippi river. It embraces sixteen entire, and five fractional, 
congressional townships, and contains 430,570 acres of land and 5,021 lots. Of 
the lands 333,616 acres are improved, and 96,954 acres unimproved; 3,002 lots 
are improved, and 2,013 unimproved. There are twenty-two townships in the 
county, organized under the township organization laws of the State, as follows: 
Albany, Clyde, Coloma, Erie, Fulton, Fenton, Garden Plain, Genesee, Hahna- 
man, Hume, Hopkins, Jordan, Lyndon, Mt. Pleasant, Montmorency, Newton, 
Portland, Prophetstown, Sterling, Tampico, Union Grove, Ustick. The north- 
western part of the county is hilly, consisting of a succession of ridges, some 
of them quite sharp, rising to an elevation of more than 100 feet, separated by 
narrow valleys; the central part is moderately rolling, while the south-eastern 
part is quite level, a few sand ridges traversing the plain. Much of this part of 
the county comprising a part of Prophetstown, all of Tampico, Hume, Montmo- 
rency and Hahnaman, was formerly i-egarded as swamp land, sloughs and marshes 
covering most of the surface. It has been drained and is now mostly cultivated. 


The general slope of the county is to the west and south. Its principal streams 
are the Rock river, Elkhorn, Sugar, Grove, Spring, Rock, Lynn, Spring (west) and 
Otter creeks. The Rock river — Sinnissippi of the Indians — rises in the southern 
part of "Wisconsin, flows south-westerly and falls into the Mississippi about four 
miles south of Rock Island. It is a tortuous stream obstructed by many rapids 
and furnishing an abundance of water power which is used at two points in the 
county — Sterling and Lyndon. Its course within the county is about 50 miles; 
its total length about 200 miles. It is too shallow for navigation except in 
times of floods, and the current is through most of its course very strong. 
Elkhorn creek rises in the east part of Carroll County and flows a generally 
south-westerly course falling into Rock river about seven miles south-west of 
Sterling. It has two branches — Sugar creek flowing from the east across Jor- 
dan township with a course of about seven miles, and Spring creek flowing from 
Carroll County southerly into the Elkhorn with a length of about ten miles. 
The Elkhorn is quite winding, has considerable fall, and furnishes some water 
power; it is about forty-five miles long. Grove creek is a small stream rising 
in the northern part of Hopkins township and flowing into the Rock river; it 
is about ten miles long. Rock creek rises in the eastern part of Carroll County 
and flows by a winding channel south-westerly into Rock . river about a mile 
east of Erie. It affords a tolerable water power at several points in its course. 
It has a length of about fifty-five miles. It has two branches of some note — 
Little Rock creek flowing from Carroll County south with a course of about 
fifteen miles, and Lynn creek rising in the south-east part of Garden Plain 
township and flowing south-east with a length of about twelve miles. West 
Spring creek rises near the center of the southern tier of sections in Garden 
Plain township, flows west to near the town line and then turns slightly to the 
north-east and falls into the Mississippi; it is about ten miles long. Otter 
creek is formed by a stream flowing from Carroll County and one rising in the 
eastern part of Ustick. It flows west into the Mississippi; length about fifteen 

The highest lands in the county are in the north-eastern part and probably 
attain an elevation of at least 800 feet above the level of the sea. The Mis- 
sissippi bluffs are from 90 to 150 feet above the river. 

The soil of the county is in general highly fertile, and corn, oats, rye, barley 
potatoes, and all kinds of vegetables are grown, and yield large crops. Wheat 
is raised, but the yield is not large, nor is it a certain crop. Strawberries and 
raspberries thrive, but apples, pears and other fruits bear irregularly and seldom 
produce large crops. Hogs are raised in great numbers, and much attention is 
given to rearing cattle and horses, some parts of the county being especially 
well fitted for pasturage. There are some extensive areas of sandy land, on 
which the soil is thin, and when it is once broken through the tract becomes a 
waste of drifting sand, spreading from year to year, and carrying ruin beyond 
its original bounds. In Fulton, Garden Plain, Albany, Newton, Erie and 
Prophetstown, these sandy wastes are found, their only products Euphorbia — 
spurge of several species, and sand burs. 

The climate is very variable, the thermometer ranging from 90° to 100° 
Fahrenheit in the shade in summer, and to 30 ° and even 40 ° below zero in 

■winter an extreme range of 140° . Thewinterwindsaresharpandpiercing. Snow 

falls very irregularly, but the ground is seldom covered long at one time. Occa- 
sionally there are heavy snow storms which are usually accompanied by strong 
winds which drift it into huge piles rendering roads impassable and leaving a 
part of the surface bare. In summer there is seldom a perfect calm, that 
oppressive furnace-like heat and perfect stillness so often experienced farther 



east being almost unknown. Even in the warmest weather the evenings and 
mornings are cool and pleasant. The summers are usually somewhat dry after 
the middle of July. The annual rainfall is about 42 inches, but it is very 
irregularly distributed. Fierce storms occasionally sweep over the county, the 
region from Albany east being the favorite theater for their exhibition. The 
great tornado of 1860, one confined to a narrow area in Union Grove in 1869, 
the Tampico tornado of 1874, and the storm of June, 1877, are probably remem- 
bered by many. The climate is healthy, the death rate low, and cases of acute 
diseases uncommon and more generally arising from exposure and carelessness 
than peculiarities of climate. 

Early Or(;anization. 

Previous to 1825 the whole northern part of the State, extending for a 
considerable distance south of Peoria, was included in the county of Tazewell, 
but on the 13th day of January, 1825, an act was passed setting off Peoria 
County, which extended some distance south of the present city of Peoria, then 
known as Fort Clark, and north to the northern boundary of the State. This 
territory included the present large number of rich counties in Northwestern 
Illinois, among them Whiteside. On the 17th of February, 1827, Jo Daviess 
County was formed, and included within its boundaries the territory constitu- 
ting the present county of Whiteside, where it remained until January 16, 
1836, with the exception of that portion of the territory embraced in the present 
townships of Portland and l^rophetstown, which had been set off to Henry 
County by the Act organizing that county in 1836. That part of the act of 
January 16, 1836, fixing and establishing the present boundaries of White- 
side, is as follows: 

" Section 6. All that tract of country within the following boundary, 
to-wit: commencing at the southeast corner of township numbered nineteen 
north of range seven east of the fourth principal meridian; thence west with 
the said township line to Rock river; thence down along the middle of Rock 
river to the middle of the Meredosia with the line of Rock Island County to 
the Mississippi river; thence along the middle of the main channel of the 5lis- 
sissippi river to the point where the north line of township twenty-two inter- 
sects the same; thence east with said last mentioned township line to the south- 
east corner of township twenty-three; thence south with the line between ranges 
seven and eight to the point of beginning, shall constitute a county to be called 

" Sec. 16. The county of Whiteside shall continue to form a part of the 
county of Jo Daviess until it shall be organized according to this act, and be 
attached to said county in all general elections, until otherwise provided by law, 
and that after the organization of Ogle County, the county of Whiteside shall 
be attached to said county of Ogle for all judicial and county purposes, until it 
shall be organized." 

Ogle County was also organized under this act, and fully completed its 
organization in December, 1836, at which time Whiteside became attached to it 
for judicial and county purposes as provided by the act. 

It was our intention to have given the names and boundaries officially of 
the different precincts which were wholly or partly in Whiteside County after 
the passage of the above act, and prior to the complete organization of the 
county, but owing to the destruction by fire of the records in the County Clerk's 
office of Ogle County, we find it impossible to do so with certainty. W^e believe, 


however, we have them as correct as they possibly can be given without the 
aid of the official records. 

Three election districts were defined by the County Commissioners' Court 
of Jo Daviess County, in the spring of 1836, which included within their 
respective boundaries all the territory now embraced in Whiteside County, as 

The present township of Jordan was attached to Elkhorn Grove Precinct, 
which comprised several townships in Ogle, Lee and Carroll Counties. Election 
to be held at Humphrey's in Ogle county. John Ankeny, Isaac Chambers and 
S. Humphrey, appointed Judges. 

Harrisburg Precinct comprised the present townships of Sterling, Coloma, 
Montmorency, Hahnaman, and the east half of Hopkins, Hume and Tampico. 
Election to be held at the house of Hezekiah Brink, in Harrisburgh, as it was 
then called, now Sterling, and Hezekiah Brink and Col. Wm. Kirkpatrick, 
appointed Judges. 

Crow Creek Precinct comprised all the rest of the county. Election to be 
held at Wm. D. Dudley's, in Lyndon. Wm. D. Dudley, A. R. Hamilton, and 
Jonathan Haines, appointed Judges. 

The election of Representative to the General Assembly of the State, on 
the first Monday of August, 1836, resulted as follows in the above named 

Harrhhurg Precinct, J. Craig, 24 votes; E. Charles, 14; J. Tierney, 13; 
L. H. Bowen, 15. 

Grow Creek Precinct, J. Craig, 18 votes; E. Charles, 19; J. Tierney, 10; 
L. H. Bowen, 5; P. H. Hamburg, 4. 

Elkhorn Grove Precinct, J. Craig, 36 votes; L. H. Bowen, 35; E. Charles, 1. 

On the 6th of September of the same year, the County Commissioners' 
Court of Jo Daviess County entered the following order of record: "Ordered, 
that all that portion of the County of Whiteside lying south of township line 
between towns 19 and 20, and west of line between ranges 4 and 5, be laid oflf 
into an Election Precinct, to be called Burke's Precinct. Election to be held 
at Horace Burke's, and Joy H. Avery, Horace Burke, and Lewis D. Crandall, 
appointed Judges." At the Presidential Election held in November, 1836, 
thirty votes were cast in this precinct, embracing the present towns of 
Portland and Erie, of which 27 were given to Van Buren, the 
Democratic candidate, and 3 to Harrison, the Whig candidate. On account of 
the records of the election being missing it is impossible to give the number of 
votes cast for Presidental candidates this year in other precincts in the county. 

In 1837, the authorities of Ogle County, upon petition of different parties 
in Whiteside County divided it into several precinct*, and these so far as we can 
learn, were as follows : 

Van Buren Precinct included that portion of the county, now the town- 
ships of Fulton, Garden Plain, Albany, Newton, Erie and the western part of 
Ustick, Union Grove, and Fenton, the bluffs in Ustick, and the Cattail in 
Union Grove and Fenton being its eastern boundary. 

Union Grove Precinct comprised that part of what is now Ustick, east of 
the bluffs, Union Grove, east of the Cattail, and all of Clyde and Mt. Pleasant. 

Little Rock Precinct included what is now Lyndon, and the greater part 
of Fenton. 

Elkhorn Precinct comprised the present townships of Genesee, Jordan, 
Hopkins and Sterling. 

Portland Precinct embraced all of the territory in the county lying south 
of Rock river. 


Between this date and May 6, 1839, when the county elected its first 
officers, and completed its organization, thereby severing its connection with 
Ogle County, several changes were made in precinct names and territory-, 
as we find in the record book of the first County Commissioners' Court, now in 
the office of the County Clerk, at Morrison, the names of the following pre- 
cincts recorded : Albany, Elkhorn, Fulton, Genesee, Little Rock, Portland, 
and Union Grove. 

Early Records. 

Before proceeding farther in the direct chain of the history of Whiteside 
County, we take occasion to mention a few items of interest in reference to the 
early times when we formed a part of Jo Daviess County. 

The County Commissioners' Court of that county on the 6th of March. 1835, 
ordered that "all hands within ten miles of the road from Plum river, to 
Prophetstown Village, on Rock river, perform labor on the Galena 
road." L. C. Melhouse was appointed Supervisor. It also caused an 
order to be entered ' upon the same day "that each able bodied person 
residing wherein there is any road district in this county, over twenty-one and 
under fifty years of age, shall perform five days labor on the public highways in 
the district in which he resides." 

It was thought necessary, as early as September 7, 1832, to confine 
tavern keepers within reasonable bounds as to charges. The CountyCommissioners' 
Court, therefore, ordered that on and after that date the rates for the bonifaces 
should be as follows: For each meal of victuals. 25 cents; each horse feed. 25 
cents; eachhorse per day and night, 50 cents; each lodging, 12^cents;eachhalf pint 
of brandy, wine, Jamaica spirits, or Holland gin, 25 cents; each pint of whiskey 
12^ cents; each quart of cider, porter, or ale. 25 cents. On the 11th of March, 
1836, these rates are somewhat changed, and tavern keepers allowed to charge 
for each meal of Adetuals, 37^ cents; each lodging, 12^ cents; each horse feed, 
25 cents; each horse per day, 75 cents; each pint of whiskey, 12^ cents; each 
pint of rum, gin, brandy or wine, 25 cents; each quart of cider, beer, porter or 
ale, 25 cents. 

On the 16th of March, 1836, the same court ordered "that a tax of one- 
half per cent, be levied on the following described property for county purposes, 
to-wit: on slaves; indentured and registered negro or mulatto servants; pleasure 
and all other wheeled carriages, and sleighs; distilleries; all horses, mares, 
mules and asses and neat cattle above three years old; watches and append- 
ages; clocks and household furniture, and all other property." 

By this it will be see that even as late as 1836, slaves, and indentured and 
registered negro and mulatto servants, were recognized as personal property, and 
liable to tax as such, in the State of Illinois, notwithstanding the celebrated 
Ordinance of 1787. adopted at the time of the cession of the Northwest Terri- 
tory to the United States by Virginia, prohibiting slavery and involuntary 
servitude Avithin such Territory. This fact will be new to many at this day, and 
shows what a hold the system of slavery had upon the people and the laws up to 
1836. and we may add for some years later. 

The County Commissioners' Court in early days did almost all kinds of 
business, as the following record. June 22. 1835, shows: "Thomas and Polly 
Bruce came into court and acknowledged the execution of a deed conveying a 
certain tract of land lying and being in" the State of Missouri, in the county of 
Pike, all of which is described in said deed from said Thomas and Polly Bruce 
to DeWitt Bruce, of the State of Missouri, Pike county." The record shows 
that this was the only judicial act of the court on that day. 



First State Roads. 

The first State road running through the county of Whiteside was located 
under an Act of the General Assembly of the State, approved March 11, 1837, 
although several trails had been extensively used prior to that time, the most 
noted of which was the Lewiston trail leading from Peoria and other southern 
settlements to Galena, and crossing Rock river a little above Prophetstown. 
Under this act A. H. Seymour, of Henry County, Asa Crook, of Whiteside 
County, Israel Mitchell, of Jo Daviess County, Russell Toncray, of Schuyler 
County, and G. A. Charles, of Kane County, were appointed Commissioners to 
view, mark and locate a State Road leading from Galena, in the county of Jo 
Daviess, by the way of WappaFs on Apple river, Savanna at the mouth of 
Plum river. Prophetstown on Rock river, via Henderson and Knoxville in Knox 
County, and Rushville in Schuyler County, to Beardstown on the Illinois river. 
The Commissioners met at Galena in June, 1837, and proceeded to locate the 
road in the manner pointed out by the act, and filed with the Clerk of the 
County Commissioners' Court of each county through which the road passed, a 
report and complete map of the road, which by the terms of the act were to 
be preserved, and form a part of the record of the Court. In due time the road 
was completed, and made a public highway. 

In 1839 the General Assembly passed another act locating a State Road 
which runs through a part of Whiteside. Under this act Neely Withrow and 
Rufus Hubbard, of Henry County, and A. Slocumb, of Whiteside County, were 
appointed Commissioners to view, survey and locate a State Road commencing 
at New Albany, thence to Penny's Feri-y on Rock river, near the west side of 
range three east of the 4th Principal Meridian; thence taking the county road 
to a bridge on Green river, and from thence to intersect the State Road leading 
from Galena to Beardstown. The Commissioners met at Geneseo, and com- 
pleted their duties under the act. 

During the same year the State Road from Galena to Beardstown was 
re-surveyed and re-located for a short distance near Prophetstown, under the 
supervision of John C Pratt, John W. Stakes, and Lyman J. Rynders, Com- 
missioners appointed for that purpose by an act of the General Assembly. 

First Officers. 
As we hajve stated Whiteside County elected its officers, and thereby com- 
pleted its organization. May 6, 1839. At that election the following officers 
were chosen: Nathaniel G. Reynolds, Elijah Worthington, and John B. Dodge, 
County Commissioners; James C. Woodburn, SheriflF; Daniel B. Young, Probate 
Justice; David Mitchell, County Treasurer; Charles R. Rood, County Surveyor; 
Augustine W. Newhall, Recorder; Ivory Colcord, Coroner; Guy Ray, Clerk of 
County Commissioners' Court. 

County Commissioners' Court. 

The first meeting of the County Commissioners' Court was held on the IHth 
of May, 1839, at the house of Wm. D. Dudley, in Lyndon. Guy Ray appeared 
as Clerk, and upon giving bond to the satisfaction of the Commissioners, took 
the oath of office. The Sheriff" and Treasurer elect, appeared, and were duly 
qualified, the former by receiving certificate from A. R. Hamilton and C. G. 
Woodruff', and the latter before John B. Dodge, Justice of the I'eace. 

The Commissioners met the next day at the school house near Wm. D. 
Dudley's, and proceeded first to lay out road districts, and appoint Supervisors, 
as follows: 

"Road District No. 1 to comprise that portion of the county south of Rock 


river, and east of township line between ranges 5 and 6 east. Wm. W. Durant 
to be Supervisor. 

Road District No. 2 to comprise that portion of the county south of Rock 
river, east of the west line of section 35, township 19 north, range 4 east, to 
line of range 5 east. Erastus G. Nichols to be Supervisor. 

Road District No. 3 to comprise all the territory south of Rock river, west 
of section 35, township 19 north, range 4 east. James Row to be Supervisor. 

Road District No. 4 to comprise all that part of Elkhorn Precinct north of 
township line running east and west between townships 21 and 22. Joseph 
Nelson to be Supervisor. 

Road District No. 5 to comprise all that portion of Elkhorn Precinct lying 
south of the east and west line between townships 21 and 22 north. Nelson 
Mason to be Supervisor. 

Road District No. 6 to comprise all that part called Genesee Precinct. 
Ivory Colcord to be Supervisor. 

Road District No. 7 to comprise all the territory east of the center of 
township 20 north, range 4 east. David Hazard to be Supervisor. 

Road District No. 8 to comprise all the territory west of the east line of 
range 4 east. Arthur Putney to be Supervisor. 

Road District No. 9 to comprise all the territory in Union Precinct. John 
W. Stakes to be Supervisor. 

Road District No. 10 to comprise all the territory in Fulton Precinct. John 
Baker to be Supervisor. 

Road District No. 11 to comprise all the territory in Albany Precinct. Gil- 
bert Buckingham to be Supervisor." 

All persons were required to labor on the roads five days each, who were 
subject to road labor. 

The following gentlemen were appointed Assessors of the different pre- 
cincts: Union, Henry Boyer; Portland, Ebenezer Seely; Elkhorn, John W. 
McLemore; Genesee, "Wm. Wick; Fulton, Hosea Jacobs; Albany, Lewis Spur- 
lock; Little Rock, Chauncey G. Woodruff. 

The next meeting of the Commissioners was held June 4, 1839. John 
Wick was appointed Assessor in Genesee Precinct, in place of Wm. Wick who 
declined to serve. At this meeting the citizens of Round Grove and vicinity 
petitioned that an Election Precinct may be established called Round Grove, 
bounded on the east by Elkhorn river, on the north and west by the north and 
west line of township twenty-one, range six east, and the west line of township 
twenty, range six east to Rock river, and on the south by Rock river. Also 
that the elections may be held at the school house in Round Grove. The peti- 
tion was signed by R. J. Jenks, Chas. C. Jenks, Wm. Pilgrim, N. P. Thompson, 
Joel Harvey, Caleb Plumber, Wm. H. McLemore, John Wasby, Levi Gaston, 
Joseph Jones, Samuel Higley, Thos. Mathews, E. A. Somers, Geo. Higley, W. 
Morrison, John Van Tassel, F. Simonson and C. D. Nance. The petition was 
granted after changing a part of the boundary so as to read '• the precinct shall 
be bounded by the east line of township twenty-one, range six east, and Elkhorn 
creek." Geo. G. Dennis was appointed Constable, and commissioned pru tern 


for the special purpose of serving all orders and notices issued during tlie sit- 
ting of the Count)'^ Commissioners' Court at its June term, A. D., 1839. 

The next day, June 5th, it was ordered that the first Circuit Court in 
Whiteside County be held at Dr. Stickles house in Lyndon. The same day the 
first rates of toll for a ferry in Whiteside County, Avere fixed — the ferry being 
across Eock river, and were as follows: one person, 12^ cents; wagon or car- 
riage drawn by two horses, 75 cents; for every additional ox or horse, 12^ cents; 
wagon drawn by one horse, 37^ cents; cart drawn by oxen or horses, 50 cents; 
cattle, hogs and goats each, 6^ cents; sheep, each 3 cents. The ferry was to be 
free for all citizens of Whiteside County. It was afterwards ordered that the 
county pay William Knox $40 for the ferriage of citizens of Whiteside 
County during the season. 

At the adjourned Commissioners' Court, held July 2, 1839, a number of 
road petitions were presented, the first being for a road from Albany and Kings- 
bury to CrandalFs ferry, L. D. Crandall guaranteeing that the viewers should 
locate the road without expense to the county. Grilbert Buckingham, James 
Early and James Hamilton were appointed viewers. The second petition asked 
for a road from Fulton to Lyndon via Delhi. John Baker. C. G. Woodruff and 
Wm. Farrington were appointed viewers; and the third asked for a road from 
Fulton to Genesee Mills. John Baker, Hugh Hollinshead and John Wick were 
appointed viewers. Several other petitions were presented, and accepted on the 
condition that the viewers perform their duties gratis. 

The Court ordered that the county taxes for 1839 be laid at fifty cents on 
every hundred dollars assessed upon the property in the county, and that twenty 
cents be levied upon the assessment for State taxes. John W. McLemore was 
appointed collector of taxes for the year 1839. At the next day's session 
Augustine W. Newhall appeared and took the oath of office as Recorder of 
Whiteside County. 

The following are the names of the petit jurors drawn to serve at the first 
Circuit Court of Whiteside County, to be held at Lyndon on the second Monday of 
September, 1839: Isaac H. Albertson. Jacob Whipple, Luther Bush, Geo. W. 
Woodburn, Daniel Brooks, Nathaniel Norton, Horace Burke, Marvin Frary, Reu- 
ben Amidon, Samuel Johnson, C. S. Deming, Wm. L. Clark, James Coburn, 
Henry Boyer, James J. Thomas, H. H. Holbrook, Anthony Hollinshead, Joel 
Harvey, Duty Buck, Lewis Spurlock, Robert Booth, Wm. Ross, John W. Baker, 
P. Bachus Besse. 

The Grand Jurors drawn to serve at the same term of court, were: Jason 
Hopkins, Wiatt Cantrall, Henry Burlingame, Jacob Sells, James Talbot, Jere- 
miah Johnson, James Row, Hiram Harmon, Jabez Warner, W. F. Van Norman, 
A. W. Newhall, Brainard Orton, John C. Pratt, Jonathan Haines, D. B. Young, 
Wm. Wick, J. H. Carr, Nehemiah Rice, P. B. Vannest, David Mitchell, Hosea 
Jacobs, Daniel Reed, p]dmund Cowdrey, C. G. Woodruff". 

The County Commissioners, Clerk of Commissioners' Court, Treasurer, 
Recorder, Coroner, Probate Justice and Surveyor, elected at the first election 
held in the county, May, 6th, 1839, .served only until the regular county 
election in August of that year, when the following officers were elected: 
Hosea Jacobs, Elijah Worthington, Hiram Harmon, County Commissioners; 
Guy Ray, Clerk of Commissioners' Court; David Mitchell, Treasurer; W. W. 
Gilbert, Recorder; Ivory Colcord, Coroner; Daniel B. Young, Probate Justice, 
and Charles R. Rood, Surveyor. We append the returns of this election that 
the people may contrast the vote of 1839, with that of the present time: 



County Commissioners. 

1 Clerk 




































' 19 

























































Round Grove . 

















At the term of the Commissioners' Court, held December 3, 1839, orders 
were entered of record as follows: "that the Clerk call on Jonathan Haines by 
letter, to make a seal for the court of copper, if no copper, of brass, if no brass, 
then to make it of silver;"' "that Augustine Smith be paid $5 for the use of 
his house to hold court in;"' "that the county pay Simon S. Page $30, and 
Edward P. Gage $65, for the use of ferry for the season past, and Wm. Knox 
$20 in addition to what was agreed to be paid to him for use of ferry;" "that 
Edward S.G-age pay the county $10 for ferry license;" "that the Collector remit 
the money he received of persons having paid on mill property on government 
lands,^^ and that the same be allowed him in the settlement with him at the June 
term;" "that each and every person who by law, is subject to road labor, shall 
work upon the highways three days in each year." The first public house 
license in the county was granted at that term of court, to Caleb Clark, to keep 
a public house in Fulton, the fee being $25, to be paid into the Clerk's office. 

The following bills rendered to the Court show the expense of assessing 
property in 1839; John W. McLemore, for five days service assessing in 
Elkhorn Precinct, $10; Henry Boyer, three days in Union Precinct, $6; John 
Wick, three and three-fourths days in Genesee Precinct, $7.50; Ebenezer 
Seely, five days in Portland Precinct, $10; Hosea Jacobs, four days in Fulton 
Precinct, $8; C. G. Woodruff, four and a half days in Lyndon Precinct, $9; 
Samuel Mitchell, two and a half days in Albany Precinct, $5. 

The first movement against granting license for the sale of intoxicating 
liquor by the drink, was inaugurated by some of the citizens of Fulton in 1839, 
by a petition to the County Commissioners' Court, praying that no license for 
that purpose be granted in that Precinct. The petition is ' set forth in full, in 
-the history of Fulton township. 

On the 22d of February, 1840, a special election was held, for the 
purpose of electing a County Commissioner to fill a vacancy caused by the 
death of Elijah Worthington. As the result of the canvass of the votes, 
William Sampson was declared elected, Sterling not having reported her vote 
when the canvass was made. The right of Mr. Sampson to hold the office was 
contested by Simeon M. Coe. At their first meeting the Commissioners drew 
for terms of office, as follows: Hosea Jacobs for the term to expire August 
Ist, 1840; Wm. Sampson for the term to expire 1st, 1841; and Hiram Harmon 
tor the term to expire August 1st, 1842. 

The contested seat case of Coe vs Sampson came up, and evidence therein 


was directed to be presented to Van J. Adams, Daniel Brooks and A. C Jack- 
son, Justices of the Peace. The Justices decided in favor of Mr. Coe, and Mr. 
Guy Ray. the Clerk of the Court, was ordered to issue a certificate of election to 
him. Mr. Coe thereupon took his seat, his term of oflSce being the same as that 
drawn by Mr. Sampson. 

On the 2d of March, 1840, the Commissioners granted a license to Caleb 
Clark to run a ferry across the Mississippi river at the town of Fulton, the fee 
being ten dollars. The rates of toll were fixed at 25 cents for each footman; 
man and horse, 75 cents; cattle, 25 cents per head; two wheel carriages, $1.; 
yoke of oxen and wagon loaded, $1.50; additional ox or horse, 25 cents; hogs 
and sheep per head, 12^ cents; one horse and wagon, $1. L. D. and J. Crandall 
were licensed to run a ferry across Rock river, on section 19, township 19, 
range 4 east. 

The following financial exhibit of the county was presented to the Com- 
missioners' Court, on the 4th of March, 1840: To amount of orders issued, and 
orders due at this date, $985,87. By taxes assessed in 1839, $585,49, and by 
cash received for licenses for ferries, groceries, etc., $93.00 — total $678.49. 
Indebtedness of the county, March 4, 1840, $307-.38. 

The bounty on wolf scalps was placed at this term, at fifty cents each, and 
the first payments made to C. E. Walker, Charles Wright, and Peter Shuler. 

N. Gr. Reynolds was appointed Marshal to take the census of the county, 
but afterwards resigned, and Augustine Smith appointed to fill the vacancy. 

At the June session of the Court, James McCoy entered a complaint 
against Daniel Reed, A. M. Wing, and Caleb Clark, for neglect in keeping a 
ferry boat running across the Mississippi river, at Fulton. On appearance before 
the Commissioners' Court, the defendants' counsel made a motion to quash for 
variance between the summons and complaint. The motion was overruled, but 
after a hearing the case was dismissed. The tax levy, at this term of court, 
was fixed at fifty cents on each hundred dollars of property assessed in the 
county. Hiram Harmon was granted a license to run a ferry across Rock 
river at the Rock River Company's Mills, and D. B. Young was appointed 
School Commissioner of the county for the year. This appointment made Mr. 
Young the first School Commissioner of Whiteside county. 

At the December session Portland Precinct was ordered to be divided 
into three Precincts, as follows: All the territory south of Rock river in 
Whiteside county, and east of the line north and south through the center of 
township six, east of the fourth principal meridian, to be known as Rapids 
Precinct, the place of holding elections to be at the house of Edward 
Atkins; all the territory south of Rock river and west of Rapids Precinct, 
lying east of the center of a certain slough, between Hiram Ilnderhill's and 
Richard Potter's, on the south line of the county, thence northeasterly along the 
center of said slough and its outlet into Rock river, to be known as Prophets- 
town Precinct, and the place of holding elections to be at the house of Asa ■ 
Crook; and all the territory west of Prophetstown Precinct, and south of Rock 
river, to remain as Portland Precinct, the place of holding elections to be 
at the house Ebenezer Seely. Wm. W. Durant, Daniel Brooks and L. H. Wood- 
worth, were appointed judges of election of Rapids Precinct; Asa Crook, Jabez 
Warner, and N. G. Reynolds, of Prophetstown Precinct; and Daniel Blasdell, 
Wm. S. Crane, and Simeon Fuller, of Portland Precinct. 

Guy Ray, Clerk of the Court, was allowed $7.80 for returning votes of 
August election for Representative to Jo Daviess county. On the same day 
Lyndon township was authorized to organize into a school district, and Edward 
S. Gage licensed to run a ferry across Rock river at Prophetstown. 


At the March session a writ of ad quad damnum was issued upon applica- 
tion of Jason Hopkins, Esq., of Como, for calling a jury on Elkhorn creek, at 
Como, " to appraise the damage that may be sustained by all persons owning 
lands that may be flowed by the erection of a dam on said creek at Como." 
The tax levy for 1841, was fixed at fifty cents on each hundred dollars worth of 
property assessed. It was also ordered that each man liable to road labor be 
taxed one day's labor, and that a property tax of ten cents be assessed for road 
purposes on each hundred dollars assessed in the county. John Scott was 
licensed to run a ferry across Rock river at Como. 

Guy Ray tendered his resignation as Clerk of the Court, at the April session, 
which was reluctantly accepted, and Theodore Winn appointed Clerk pro tern. 
Mr. Winn qualified the next day, April 9th, before Benj. Coburn, Justice of 
the Peace. 

The first session of the County Commissioners' Court, at Sterling, com- 
menced June 8, 1841, with Simeon M. Coe and Hosea Jacobs present as Com- 
missioners. The greater part of this session, as had been the case with those 
of several of the previous ones, was taken up with county seat matters. Royal 
Jacobs was allowed three additional months to complete the horse ferry boats 
in progress of construction, at Fulton, and Nelson Mason allowed $38 for serv- 
ing notices on grand and petit jurors, and for five day's attendance at Circuit 

Hosea Jacobs and Daniel Blasdell were the Commissioners present at the 
September session of the Court, Mr. Blasdell having been elected at the August 
election. Mr. John Roy presented his oath of office, with recjuired bond, and 
assumed the position as Clerk of the Court. The Commissioners appointed 
Jacob Whipple, Porter L. Chapman and Van J. Adams, trustees of school lands 
in township twenty-one, range seven east fourth principal meridian, and Wat- 
son Parish, Ezra B. Hewitt, and Ivory Colcord, trustees of school lands in town- 
ship twenty-two north, range 6 east of the fourth principal meridian. 

At the December session A. R. Thomas, P. M. Dodge and James Knox 
were appointed trustees of school lands in township twenty-one, range five east 
of the fourth principal meridian; D. B. Young. J. T. Atkinson and Alfred 
Brown in township twenty-four, range four east; S. M. Kilgour, David Parker 
and Isaac Crosby, in township twenty-one west, range three east; Samuel Mitch- 
ell, Stephen B. Slocumb and Gr. Buckingham in township twenty-one west, range 
two east; Robert Booth, J. Humphrey and James McCoy, in township twenty- 
two west, range three east, and Allan Graves, Jesse Johnson and W. E. Graham, 
in township twenty-two west, range four east. J. McLemore was allowed $3 for 
shackles, and $12.50 for boarding a prisoner named Dolan and his guard from 
Lee County. Col. Johnson was licensed to keep a grocery in Sterling upon 
payment of $25 and giving proper bond. At the same session it was ascer- 
tained that Chas. R. Rood, County Surveyor, had been absent from the State a 
sufficient length of time to make him a non-resident. The office of Surveyor 
was, therefore, declared vacant, and a new election ordered. The Clerk was 
authorized to issue grocery licenses in conformity with law to any person 
requesting them until next session of Court. 

At the March session in 1842, an order was made changing the place of 
holding elections in Union Precinct, from the house of Jonathan Haines to the 
school house in Unionville. The first bill for medical attendance on pauper, 
was allowed at this session. Dr. John Bates being the happy recipient of $4 for 
visits, medicine and attendance on Stephen O'Connell, a pauper. 

The September session allowed a writ to summons twelve men to appraise 
^{images that any persoii might susttvin by the erectioq of a luill dam, pn 


Johnson's creek, full account of which will be found in the history of Fulton 
township. Wm. Nevitt, School Commissioner, was allowed $20 for ten days 
time taken in going to. and returning from Springfield, for school funds. 
Constables were allowed one dollar per day for attendance at court. An order 
was also made "that the next December term of the County Commissioners' 
Court and the next May term of the Circuit Court, be holden at Lyndon, and 
all future courts until otherwise ordered.' 

The December session was accordingly held at Lyndon, commencing 
December 7. 1842, with Daniel Blasdell, David Mitchell and Henry Boyer, 
Commissioners, present, county seat matters as usual occupying most of the 
time of the court. The County Treasurer was instructed to demand of R. L. 
Wilson. Clerk of the Circuit Court, the docket and jury fees, according to an 
act in the session laws of 1835. The County Collector, J. W. McLemore, 
presented the Treasurers receipt for$505, in full forthe taxes collected for 1841. 

The sessions of the court during 1843 were almost wholly devoted to 
matters pertaining to the county seat, and county buildings. On the first day of 
the August session in 1844, the clerk was directed to notify the Clerk of the 
Circuit Court that an office was prepared for him at Lyndon, but two days there- 
after an order was entered "that the terms of the Circuit Court be holdeu 
hereafter at the county building in Sterling, until otherwise ordered, and that 
the Clerk and Sheriff be notified of the same." At this session James A. Sweet 
was credited with $638,22 for taxes collected. 

At the December session, 1844, a new precinct was ordered to be formed 
from Lvndon and Albany Precincts, to be called Erie Precinct, and bounded as 
follows: commencing at the southeast corner of section 34, in township 20. range 
4 east of the 4th principal meridian, running thence north to the northeast 
corner of section 15; thence Avest to the northwest corner of section 14, town- 
ship 20, range 4 east; thence south to the town line; thence west to the county 
line; thence on said county line to Roek river, and thence up Rock river to the 
place of beginning. 

A special session of the court was held at Lyndon in February, 1845, for the 
purpose of appointing a School Commissioner to serve until the following 
August election. Charles S. Deming was appointed. At the regular March 
term, 1845, it was ordered that a poor tax of five cents on every $100 worth of 
taxable property be assessed. It was also ordered: "that the clerk send to the 
Auditor of Public Accounts for the portion of money to which the county is 
entitled under the 15th .provision of the 18th section of an act to establish and 
maintain a general .system of internal improvements of the State of Illinois, in 
force February, 1837." 

In April, 1845, the court ordered that four mills on every dollar's worth of 
property assessed, be levied for county revenue, and 7^ mills levied upon every 
dollar's worth of personal property assessed in the precincts of Sterling, 
Rapids, Round Grove, Lyndon, Prophetstown and Portland, for the purpose of 
improving the navigation of Rock river. At that time it was confidently be- 
lieved that Rock river could be made navigable to a point a considerable distance 
above Sterling, by means of improving the channel of the river, and where that 
could not be done to a sufficient extent, by canal around the shallow parts. The 
effort, however, proved futile, and the stream is noA\ used to drive the great 
wheels which furnish motive power to the manufactories that line its banks, a 
much better purpose than being navigated by boats. 

At the June session John Roy, Clerk of the Court, was instructed to cor- 
respond with Judge Logan, of Springfield, as to the prospect of getting the pro- 
portion due the county of the $200,000- set apart by the Legislature of thQ 


State to the several counties which were not benefitted by the internal im- 
provement system of the State, and if in his opinion the money could be 
obtained, he was authorized to prosecute its collection in the name of the 

At the March term, 1846, the tax to be levied upon property assessed, was 
made the same as in 1845. It was also ordered that one-half mill be assessed 
for the support of the poor. In 1848 Henry Ustick was allowed $138 for 
assessing the property of the county. In 1849 the Court appointed Commis- 
sioners to divide the county into townships. 

The County Commissioners held their last meeting in Decembei-, 1849, 
when the County Court transacted county business until the Board of Super- 
visors took control in September, 1852. The first meeting of the County Court 
to transact county business was held in Mai'ch, 1850, with N. Gr. Reynolds 
County Judge and W. S. Wilkinson and Thos. Brewer associate justices, pres- 
ent. W. S. Wilkinson resigned in 1851, and J. B. Harding filled the vacancy. 

On the 9th of February, 1850, Henry Ustick, P. Bacchus Besse andW.W. 
Gilbert, Commissioners appointed by the Court to divide the county of White- 
side into townships in pursuance of an act of the Greneral Assembly of the 
State of Illinois, entitled an act to provide for township and county organiza- 
tion, etc., made the following report: 

Salem township to include all of township 22 north, range 4 east of the 
4th principal meridian; Fulton, all of fractional township 22 north, range 3 east; 
Garden Plain., all of fractional township 21 north, range 3 east; Alhanij, all of 
fractional township 21 north, range 2 east, and all of township 20 north, 
range 2 east, in Whiteside County; Greenfield., all of township 20 north, 
range 3 east; Eden., all of township 20 north, range 4 east, lying north of Rock 
river, also part of township 19 north, range 4 east, lying north of Rock river 
in the northeast corner of said township, and all of said township 19 north, 
range 5 east, north of Rock river, lying within the southeast corner of said 
township, is attached to the township of Eden for judicial purposes; Union 
Grove., all of township 21 north, range 4 east; Mt. Pleasant, all of township 21 
north, range 5 east; Genesee, all of township 22 north, range 6 east; Water Jord, 
all of township 22 north, range 5 east; Jordan, all of township 22 north, range 
7 east; Sterling, all the part of township 21 north, range 7 east, lying north 
and west of Rock river, commencing on the east side of said township where 
the river enters it, thence down the channel of said river so as to include Can- 
trail's Island, and all the islands in said township, thence down the north chan- 
nel of said river to where it enters township 21 north, range 6 east; Rapids, all 
of that part of township 21 north, range 7 east, south and east of Rock river, 
commencing where the river enters said township on the east side, thence down 
the south channel of said river to the lower end of Cantrall's Island, thence 
down the north channel of said river to where it enters township 21 north, range 
6 east, including all islands in the river below Cantrall's Island in said county; 
Montmorency, all of township 20 north, range 7 east, the township to be attached 
to Rapids for the time being; Hahnaman, all of township 19 north, range 7 
east; Jackson, all of township 20 north, range 6 east, lying south of Rock river; 
Tampico, all of township 19 north, range 6 east; Hopkins, all of township 21 
north, range 6 east, the township of Hahnaman, and the east half of Tampico 
to be attached to Hopkins for judicial purposes for the time being; Ilomrr. all 
of township 20 north, range 6 east, north of Rock river, divided on the north 
and south line of half section line of section 4 of said township of Homer, the 
east half to be attached to Hopkins for judicial purposes, and all west of said 
line to be attached to Lyndon for judicial purposes for the time being; Lyndon, 



all of township 20 north, range 5 east, north of Rock river; Prophctstoion, all 
of township 20 north, range 5 east, north of Rock river; Washington, 
all of township 19 north, range 5 east, south of Rock river, the town 
of Washington, west half of Tampico, and M'est half of Jackson to 
be attached to Pi-ophetstown for judicial purposes for the time being; Jeffer- 
son, all of township 19 north, range 4 east, south of Rock river, also all of 
township 19 north, range 3 east, south of Rock river, and all of township 20 
north, range 4 east, south of Rock river; Erie, all of township 19 north, range 
4 east, north of Rock river, also all of township 19 north, range 3 east, north 
of Rock river. 

At the March session, 1850, M. S. Henry, attorney for the county, was 
directed to sue for and recover from W. W. Fuller or his representatives, or 
the Rock River Commissioners, or in whose hands the same may be, the sum 
or sums of money, or other property, to which the county was entitled by virtue 
of the improvement act. It was also ordered that the court room be occupied 
alternately on Sundays for regular preaching by the Presbyterian and Metho- 
dist societies. L. D. Crandall, Collector of Revenue for the county for 1849, 
made his report at this session as follows: 

For County purposes $2,102.09 

For Road ' " 525.51 

For Poor " 131 '37 


By Treasurer's Receipts •'. $1,625.45 

By Percentage 67 . 46 

Taxes uncollectable 29 . 6S 

Delinquent Road Tax . . , 6.71 

Treasurer's receipts for poor orders 109. 83 

Per centage on same 4.60 

Delinquent poor tax uncollectable 2.15 

At the September session, 1850, M. S. Henry, attorney for the county, 
reported $94.34 as collected for the county from the Rock River Commission- 
ers, and $10 to be collected from Wm. Pollock, he owing that amount to the 
Rock River Commissioners. The precinct formerly called Round Grove was 
changed to Como. At the December session $18 was ordered to be placed in 
the hands of N. J. Nichols to be sold for the purpose of raising $13.50 in par 
money to purchase a record book. The county tax for 1851 was fixed at four 
mills on the dollar, road tax at three-fourths of a mill on the dollar, and poor 
tax at one-fourth of a mill on the dollar. 

The next ses.sion of the County Commissioners' Court of Whiteside County, 
was held in June, 1851, when $150 was ordered to be paid to W. C Snyder, 
John A. Robertson, A. C. Jackson, D. Kier and Henry Boycr, to build a bridge 
across Rock creek, near Robertson's mill. The whole cost of the bridge ($236) 
was ordered to be raised by assessment in the county! 

Township Organization. 
An election was held in 1849 in the difi"erent precincts of the county for 
the purpose of allowing the electors to vote for or against township organiza- 
tion. The vote cast was largely in favor of it, and townships were laid off as 
previously mentioned. But it was soon ascertained that there was some illegal- 
ity in the matter which rendered the action taken void. In June, 1851, another 
election was ordered for the same purpose, which was held November 4, 1851, 
and resulted as follows: 


Whole No 
Precinct. Votes Cast. For. Against. 

Sterling, 56 34 22 

Albany, 59 19 39 

Portland, 32 21 11 

Como, 46 34 3 

Union Grove, 85 So 5 

Prophetstown 67 52 14 

Erie, 31 11 17 

Fulton, 45 27 17 

Lyndon, 84 79 

Genesee Grove, 38 19 19 

543 376 144 

L. D. Crandall, L. H. Woodworth, and Wm. Pollock were appointed 
commissioners to divide the county into townships, and to give each its name 
and boundaries, under the township organization law which had been adopted at 
the election of November 4, 1851. 

On the 24th of February, 1852, the commissioners reported the following 
townships: Fulton, Ustick, Clyde, Genesee, Jordan, Sterling, Montmorency, 
Coloma, Hahnaman, Hume, (formerly Jackson) Como, (formerly Homer) 
Hopkins, Tampico, Volney, (formerly Washington, Prophetstown, Portland, 
Erie, Fenton, (formerly Eden) Lyndon, Mt. Pleasant, Union Grove, Garden 
Plain, Albany, and Newton (formerly Greenfield), twenty-four in all. Como and 
Volney were afterwards dropped, the territory of the former being added to 
Hopkins, and the latter to Prophetstown. 

Board of Supervisors. 
The first town meeting under the township organization law, was held on 
the first Tuesday of April, 1852, in the following towns: Albany, Coloma, 
Clyde, Erie, Fenton, Fulton, Garden Plain, Genesee, Hopkins, Jordan, Lyndon, 
Mt. Pleasant, Newton, Prophetstown, Portland, Sterling, Union Grove, and 
Ustick. Election was not held in Montmorency, Hahanaman, Hume, and 
Tampico, as they were not fully organized at the time. Through the kind- 
ness of Dr. W. C. Snyder, now of Fulton, Avho was the first Supervisor from Union 
Grove, we are enabled to add the ages, occupations, and places of birth, to the 
names of the first Supervisors elected. These were taken by Dr. Snyder per- 
sonally at the first meeting of the Board; the table is as follows: 







W. S. Barnes, 


Hotel Keeper, 



Richard Arey, 





W. P. Hiddleson, 





Chas. R. Coburn, 



New York. 


Jas. M. Pratt, 
Wilson S. Wright. 



New York. 



Hotel Keeper, 

New York. 

Garden Plain, 

S. M. Kilgour. 





Ivory Colcord, 





Simeon Sampson, 





J. Talbot, 




Mt. Pleasant, 

R. G. Clendenin, 




A. C. Jackson, 



New Jersey. 


Joseph Miller, 





0. W. Gage, 





P. B. Besse, 



New York. 


Jesse Penrose, 




Union Grove, 

W. C. Snyder, 



New Jersey. 


John Mackenzie, 


Stone Mason, 



The first annual meeting of the Board was held at Sterling, September 13, 
1852. On the ballot for Chairman W. S. Barnes received 9 votes, Simeon 
Sampson 3, and S. C. Kilgour 1. Mr. Barnes was declared duly elected Chair- 
man of the Board. Messrs W. C. Snyder, R. G Clendenin, and S. Sampson 
were appointed a committee to ascertain the indebtedness of the county. 

At the June term, 1853, Messrs W. Y. Wetzell, J. M. Pratt, and 
AV. C. Snyder were appointed a committee to enquire into the expediency 
of purchasing a farm, and erecting suitable buidings thereon, for the purpose of 
aiding and maintaining the county paupers. 

At the September term, 1853, the Board ordered that all orders issued by 
the county prior to 18-16, must be presented before September 1, 1854, 
otherwise they would not be received for taxes. The proceedings of the Board 
were first ordered to be published at the February term, 1855, the Sterling 
Times, and the Whiteside Investigator being made the ofiicial papers. 

W. Pollock was appointed Drainage Commissioner at the March term of 
the Board. 1855, and the prices of swamp lands fixed as follows: For first 
quality, §3 per acre; second quality, $1.50 per acre, and third quality, 50 cents 
per acre. At the same meeting it was resolved that all the swamp lands lying 
north and west of Rock river, all of township 21 north, of range 7 east, and 
also of township 20 north, of range 7 east, be oft'ered for sale on the second 
Monday of October, 1855. The terms of sale were as follows: 1st, 25 per 
cent, cash on all sales; 2d, a credit of one year to be given on all sales under 
$100. with personal security; 3d, a credit of five years to be given on all sales 
over $100, the security to be real estate mortgage; and 4th, the rate of interest 
to be ten per cent, per annum, payable in advance. The Board also passed a 
resolution ordering the Drainage Commissioner to pay over to the School Com- 
missioner of the county, all moneys arising from the sale of swamp lands, 
after defraying all necessary expenses, the moneys so paid to the School Com- 
missioner to be loaned by him, and the interest applied as other school funds. 
At this meeting the indebtedness of the county for 1854 was reported to the 
Board to be $1,829.24. 

At the December term, 1855, the SheriflF was authorized "to make a diligent 
search, and bring to justice all felons, murderers, and other convicts, and pursue 
them asfar as his judgment shall dictate," and present his bill for such services 
to the Board of Supervisors. The School Commissioner was instructed to loan 
the school fund to citizens of the county, in amounts not to exceed $500. 

In 1856 the Board of Supervisors of Ogle county was asked to grant leave 
for the withdrawal of the records and plats of roads, and to obtain certified 
copies of deeds and conveyances in the Recorder's office of that county, belong- 
ing to Whiteside. The Committee on Poor Farm reported that owing to the 
cfHistruction of a line of public works through the county, the pauper population 
was large and on the increase. Under the present system, they said, the cost 
of the paupers to the county was from $1,000 to $2,000 per annum, but that 
by the purchase of a farm, and erecting suitable buildings, these persons could 
be cared for in a better, more systematic, and cheaper manner. They further 
reported that after viewing the location of swamp lands belonging to the 
county, and noticing their manifest disadvantages in point of location, etc., 
they had come to the conclusion to select a farm in Union Grove township, 
consisting of 240 acres, of which 120 acres were enclosed and under tillage. 
On the farm were a good stone house, barn and out buildings, never failing 
springs, etc. The land was prairie, with the exception of 30 acres of savanna, 
and 7 or 8 acres of pas.sable timber. The price was $25 per acre, the payments 
to be one-half cash, and the balance in equal payments at one and two years 


time, interest at the rate of ten per cent, per annum. The Board appointed a 
committee to purchase the farm on the terms stated in the report, the farm to 
be known when purchased as the "County Poor Farm." 

At the September term, 1857, Wm. Prothrow, Chas. Wright, and Justus 
Rew, a committee appointed to procure a loan to be applied in redeeming the 
county bonds, reported that owing to the extreme scarcity of money, they had 
been unable to procure the funds in the county, and had therefore sent Mr. 
Prothrow to Chicago, where he had met with much difficulty for several reasons, 
and among them, the stringency in the money market, and the fact that the 
county had allowed the first bonds to mature and go by without making adequate 
provision for their payment. This distrust placed the county paper in the sec- 
ond class. The agent, therefore, owing to the urgent demand for money, 
coupled with the fact that the county was paying three per cent, a month on 
matured bondSj sold the paper at a discount of eighteen per cent. The commit- 
tee stated it as their opinion that it was the only course left to save the county, 
and prevent further repudiation, believing the latter to be more costly than the 
sacrifice they had been compelled to make. At the same session the Drainage 
Commissioner was ordered to pay in the proceeds of the swamp land sales to 
assist in defraying the indebtedness of the county, the latter to give bonds to 
the School Commissioner for the amount, to be paid in five years, with interest 
at ten per cent, per annum, payable semi-annually in advance. The proceed- 
ings of the Board of Supervisors in this and succeeding years in relation to 
matters pertaining to the county buildings, etc., will be found under the head of 
"County Buildings." 

The Board at the January meeting in 1858, resolved to sustain the town 
collectors and the County Treasurer, in receiving good Illinois and' Wisconsin 
currency in payment of taxes. A committee was appointed at the same session 
to establish, if practicable, the title of Whiteside County to certain swamp lands 
lying near the original line between Rock Island and Whiteside Counties, at the 
Meredocia, the lands being originally within Whiteside County, but owing to 
the establishment of a new line placed in Rock Island County. The committee 
decided that if the original line could be defined the land would be found be- 
longing to Whiteside County, but if not it would be bad policy to prosecute the 
matter with Rock Island. M. S. Henry, Esq., attorney for the county being 
present, stated that he believed the lands to belong to Whiteside. He also 
stated that Whiteside County was entitled to receive from the general govern- 
ment the purchase money received by it for so much of the swamp lands under 
the act of Congress, and which can be proved as such, that were entered at the 
land office, and paid for in money. Also, that the county is entitled to receive 
from the general government, land warrants for so much of said swamp lands as 
were entered by land warrants from the general government. Mr. Henry made 
the following proposition: "I will promise to recover, and collect or prosecute 
the claim this county has against the general government or State, such moneys, 
land warrants or certificates, and pay all expenses of prosecuting, recovering and 
collecting said money and land warrants, the county agreeing to permit me to 
retain fifty per cent, of the amount of land warrants and money secured or re- 
covered as aforesaid, I to give bond with security for the performance of my part 
of the agreement, and the payment to the county of its share of the moneys 
and land warrants." The proposition was accepted, and the bond placed at 

At the September term, 1859, Hahnaman and Tampico were granted each 
a separate organization under the township organization law. In 1860, the 
Board ordered that any sherifi", constable, or other officer arresting a horse thief 


should receive a reward of fifty dollars, upon the conviction of the offender. 
From 1861 to 1866 inclusive, the most important proceedings of the Board were 
in relation to the war, and the erection of the county buildings at Morrison. 
The sketch of these proceedings can be found under the heads of •' The Civil 
War" and "County Buildings." 

At the April term, 1865, George C. Wilson was appointed Commissioner 
to take the census of the county for 1865, and at the September term the assess- 
ment of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company for 1865 was raised 
fifty per cent, above the valuation fixed by them for the year. 

In December, 1865, the County Clerk was ordered to convey to Nelson 
Mason the interest of the county in block 57, west of Broadway, in Sterling, 
being the laud donated by citizens of that city for county purposes, by quit 
claim deed. At the same term the committee of the Board on Railroad Freight 
to whom was referred the resolution in reference to freight and transportation 
reported, that by reason of the want of shipping facilities heretofore afforded to 
the people of the county, and the extortionate price of freight demanded by the 
Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company, nearly amounting to a prohibition 
of sending the products of the county to market by rail, they would recommend 
that the citizens of the county interested in securing a reasonable freight in 
sending their products to market, meet at Sterling on the third of January, and 
at Morrison on the eighteenth day of January, 1865, to take into consideration 
the improvement of the rapids of the Mississippi river, the construction of slack 
water navigation on Rock river, and the connection of the Mississippi river with 
Lake Michigan by a ship canal from Rock river to the lake by way of the Illin- 
ois and Michigan canal. 

At the April term, 1866, the County Clerk was directed to draw an order 
on the Treasurer for $800, that being the amount apportioned to Whiteside to 
aid in the survey of Rock river with a view of making a water communication 
between Grreen Bay, Wisconsin, and the Mississippi river by way of the former 
river. In September, 1857, the fifty dollar bounty for conviction of horse 
thieves was rescinded, and another adopted to pay $300 to the person or persons 
securing the arrest and conviction of any one stealing a horse from a citizen of 
Whiteside County. At the same term Hon. W. W. Heaton, Judge of the 22d 
Judicial Circuit, was ordered to be paid $100 for each term of the Circuit Court 
held in Whiteside County, so long as he remains Judge of the Whiteside County 
Circuit Court, unless otherwise ordered. 

At the December term, 1868, the Board adopted a resolution requesting 
the Representative from the district of which Whiteside formed a part, to pro- 
cure the passage of an enabling act allowing Whiteside County to donate $20,000 
to the Illinois Soldiers' College at Fulton, as an endowment fund. A resolu- 
tion was also adopted requesting the same Representative to secure the repeal 
of the act of the General Assembly, of 1854, approving and confirming the 
report of the single Commissioner, who, under the act of 1853, had the boun- 
dary line between Rock Island and Whiteside surveyed and located, whereby 
Whiteside lost several thousand acres of land, and which caused great incon- 
venience as to schools, and the rights of franchise of citizens of Whiteside 

The following resolution offered by Supervisor W, M. Kilgour, was adopted 
at the December session in 1869: 

Whereas, The subject of the removal of the National Capital to the valley of the 
Mississippi is being agitated by the people of the United States, and Whereas, that 
great river of the West with its navigable tributaries touches nearly every Southern and 
Western State, and washes the western boundary of our county, and Whereas, the great 
central route from the New England and Middle States by rail to the West and Pacific 


States, and to the East by way of the West, crosses the great river on the western bor- 
der of Whiteside County, therefore 

Resolved, By the Supervisors of Whiteside County, that said Board by and with 
the leave of the State of Illinois, do hereby offer and agree to cede to the Federal Gov- 
ernment all authority of law held or exercised by said Board of Supervisors in or over 
said county of Whiteside, provided said Federal Government locate said Federal Capital 
within said county. 

A copy of the resohition was ordered to be sent to the Hon. John A. 
Logan, Member of Congress at Large, Hon. H. C. Burchard, Member of Con- 
gress from this District, and Hon. James McCoy, Member of the Constitutional 
Convention then in session at Springfield. 

Mr. Kilgour also oflFered the following resolution, which was adopted: 
Resolved, That the Board take this occasion to express to Hon. W. S. Wilkinson, 
the respected retiring Clerk of this Board, their high appreciation of his distinguished 
services during his long continuance in office, rendered the more so by the fact that he 
retires voluntarily to give room to one who, through misfortune in war, is incapacitated 
for the hardest physical labor, and while we shall miss his genial face, able counsel and 
thorough experience in the transaction of the business of the Board, we can but wish 
him happiness and success in whatever line of life, private or public, he may see fit to 
pursue, or be called upon to fulfil. 

At the January term in 1872, the bounty for the arrest and conviction of 
horse thieves, was reduced to $100, but in the April term following it was again 
raised to $300, and each town in the county requested to form a society for the 
prevention of horse thieving, and the arrest and conviction of all offenders. 
At the July term of the same year the Supervisor of each town in the county 
was appointed a Commissioner to use due diligence and dispatch in securing the 
destruction of Canada thistles. In December, 1874, the resolution of the 
Board authorizing the payment of $300 for the arrest and conviction of horse 
thieves was rescinded, to take effect on and after January 1, 1875. 

County Seat Affairs. 

The first act of the" General Assembly of the State in relation to a county 
seat in Whiteside County was approved February 21, 1839, by the Hon. Thos. 
Carlin, the then Governor. 

The act provided that the legal voters of Whiteside County should meet 
at the respective places of holding elections, on the first Monday in May, 1839, 
and vote for the permanent point or points for the seat of justice. In the 
event of more than one place receiving votes, another election should be held 
on the Monday four weeks next following, and on Monday of each succeeding 
four weeks, until some one place should receive a majority of all the votes cast 
at any one election. Under the act any individual of the county could offer 
donations in land whereon to locate the seat of justice, which offers or proposals, 
after being posted up at three public places in each precinct, should become 
binding on the individual making the same, and the person or persons offering 
such donation at the place selected by the legal voters, execute a good and 
sufiicient deed to the County Commissioners of the county within four weeks 
after a selection of the location. The act also provided that the County 
Commissioners cause public buildings to be erected w^ithout unnecessary delay. 

In pursuance of this act an election was .held on the first Monday of May, 
1839, in the different precincts in the county, to locate the county seat, but no 
place having received a majority of the votes, another election was held on 
Monday four weeks following, the result being the same. Four more elections 
were held, when finally at the one held on the 23d of September, 1839, Lyndon 
received a majority of all the votes cast, and was declared duly elected the 


permanent seat of justice of Whiteside County, by C. G. Woodruff and Adam R. 
Hamilton, the Justices of the Peace named in the act for that purpose. 
Lyndon was to all intents the county seat prior to that time, as the County 
Commissioners' Court had held its sessions there since May 16, 1839. On the 
11th of February, 1840, a contract was entered into between John Roy and 
Augustine Smith, on the part of the people of Lyndon, and Thomas C. Gould, 
by which the latter agreed to construct a good and substantial building, 26 feet 
long, 17 feet wide, and one and a half stories high, on lot 51, in block 10, in 
the town of Lyndon, to be used for holding courts, and other public purposes. 
The building was erected, and used for county and court purposes whenever 
required, until June 1841 when the county seat was moved to Sterling. 

It appears that the proprietors of the town of Sterling had, on the 3rd of 
May, 1839, under the provisions of the act of February 21,1839, offered do- 
nations in land whereon to locate the seat of justice, consisting of eighty acres 
of land bounded as follows: "Beginning at a point on Broadway and Fourth 
street, being the center of the town; thence west 50 rods; thence north 120 
rods; thence east 90 rods; thence south 120 rods; thence west 30 rods to the 
place of beginning, containing sixty acres, and the balance, being twenty acres, 
lying partly between the said sixty acres and the river, and to be bounded by 
streets and alleys, and extending to the river, the 60 acres to be deeded to the 
County Commissioners by the proprietors of the town formerly known as Har- 
risburg, and the 20 acres by those of the town formerly known as "Chatham." 
Besides the donation of these lands the proprietors of the above places agreed 
to pay to the County Commissioners $1,000 each for county purposes, in equal 
payments in five, six, nine and twelve months from the date of the location of 
the county seat, provided the public buildings for the county be placed on block 
58, west of Broadway, that being a central position in the town. 

It was not, however, until 1840 that Sterling made any public movement 
toward securing the location of the county seat. Then application was made to 
the County Commissioners' Court for a re-canvass of the vote cast at the 
election of September 23, 1839, and the application was granted. At that 
election the i-egularly appointed judges of one of the precincts of the county 
refused to serve, and other judges were appointed in their places who received, 
counted, and returned the votes cast. The returns from this precinct were re- 
jected by C. G. Woodruff and A. R. Hamilton, the Justices of the Peace 
named in the act of February 21, 1839, to canvass the votes, as irregular, and 
this rejection gave Lyndon a majority of the votes for the county seat. The 
election of a County Commissioner on the 22d of February, 1840, however, 
gave Sterling a majority of the members of the Commissioners' Court, and as we 
have stated a recanvass was ordered, at which the votes of the rejected 
precinct was counted, making the result in the county stand, 264 votes for 
Sterling, 253 for Lyndon, and 4 for Windsor. 

Upon this result being ascertained, the County Commissioners' Court, on 
the 8th of April, 1841, caused the following order to be entered of record: 

"Whereas, by virtue of an act of the General Assembly of the State of 
Illinois, passed on the 21st day of February, 1839, providing for the location of 
the county seat, or seat of justice of Whiteside County and State aforesaid, to 
the end therefore, we the County Commissioners in and for said county, from 
a fair and impartial examination of the poll books, now in the Clerk's office of 
the County Commissioners' Court, do verily believe that the pe(»ple of said 
county have placed the county seat at the town of Sterling, in said county, do 
therefore order the Circuit and County Commissioners' Courts to be holden in and 
0,t the town of Sterling, in said county, and do direct this order to be put on 


the record of this court, and that a copy of this order be served on the Sheriff of 
this county, and also on the clerk of the Circuit Court. Passed and ordered by 
the court. Theo. Winn, Clerk, April 8, 1841." 

The donations offered by Sterling were changed several times, but at the 
December term, 1841, of the County Commissioners' Court, it was ordered "that 
the county house and other county buildings be erected on the center of block 
57, west of Broadway, or within forty feet of said center." The court house 
building was ordered to be of the following dimensions: forty feet square, the 
lower story nine feet high in the clear, with a passage ten feet wide, and the 
upper story twelve feet high in the clear, the whole to be divided into suitable 
rooms. The building was completed sufficiently to allow courts to be held in it 
in 1844, butwas not wholly finished until later. 

The first term of the County Commissioners' Court held at Sterling, after 
the order placing the County Seat at that town, commenced June 8, 1841, and 
the succeeding terms were also held there up to and including the September 
term, 1842, when Lyndon having secured a majority in the Board of Commis- 
sioners, an order was entered removing the County Seat back to that place, and 
the Commissioners accordingly met and held their court there at the December 
term, 1842. • 

So uncertain, however, was the tenure by which either place could expect 
to hold the coveted location, that the passage of an act was procured at the 
session of the General Assembly in 1843, appointing Gr. W. Harrison and John 
McDonald, of Jo Daviess County, Joshua Harper, of Henry County, Leonard 
Andrus, of Ogle County, and R. H. Spicer, of Mercer County, Commissioners 
to locate the County Seat of Whiteside. The act was approved February 28, 
1843, and provided that the Commissioners, or a majority of them, should meet 
at the town of Albany on the first Monday in May, 1843, or within thirty days 
thereafter, and locate the County Seat at the place which would most conduce 
to the public good of Whiteside County, and proceed to examine such parts of 
the county as they might think proper to so locate it, and when the location 
should be made, make out and return to the Clerk of the County Commissioners' 
Court, a certificate of such location. The act provided that the Commissioners 
should in no case locate the County Seat at a place where a donation of not 
less than thirty acres of land for county purposes, could not be obtained. It 
also provided that the County Commissioners should as soon as convenient after 
the location of the County Seat by the State Commissioners, cause to be erected 
a suitable court house, and other necessaiy buildings for public use, and all the 
public officers required by law to keep their offices at the county seat were to 
be notified to remove their offices to that location. 

In accordance with this act, three of the Commissioners, Joshua Harper, 
Leonard Andrus, and R. H. Spicer, met at Albany at the specified time, and 
then proceeded to examine different locations in the county. They finally agreed 
upon Lyndon, and on the 27th of May made the following report: 

"We, the undersigned. Commissioners appointed by an act of the Legisla- 
ture of the State of Illinois, passed at its last session to locate the seat of justice 
of Whiteside County, in said State, do hereby certify that we have performed 
the duty enjoined upon us by said act, (having been first duly sworn as the law 
requires) and have located the said seat of justice of Whiteside County upon 
the south half of the southeast quarter of section 16, in township 20, north of 
the base line of range 5 east of the 4th principal meridian, believing the location 
most conducive to the public good of said county. Given under our hands and 
seals this 27th day of May, A. D., 1843." 

This apparently settled the question in f3.Y0r of Lyndon fts a permanent 



location for- the County Seat. Lyndon donated forty acres of land adjoining 
the old town to the county for public purposes, being described as the southeast 
quarter of the southeast quarter of section 16, township 20, north of range 5 
east of the 4th principal meridian; but no county buildings were erected upon 
it, the courts and county officers being provided for in buildings situated in the 
village. Matters rested in this manner until April 1-4, 18-1:6, when the County 
Commissioners entered an order that the grand and petit jurors elected at their 
March term to attend the May term of the Circuit Court to be held at Lyndon, 
be summoned to attend at Sterling instead of Lyndon, at the May term of that 
Court. This order was made by reason of Sterling claiming that under the 
order of the County Commissioners' Court county buildings had been erected 
and finished at that place, and had been accepted by the Commissioners, and 
that therefore the seat of justice should be removed there. It was also claimed 
that suitable buildings for county business had not been erected at Lyndon, 
upon ground donated to the county. After this the terms of the Circuit Court 
were held at Sterling, although the County Commissioners continued to hold 
their sessions at Lyndon. 

Lyndon, however, was determined not to yield to the order of the Commis- 
sioners without a struggle, and after the Circuit Court had been moved to Ster- 
ting under the order just mentioned, applied through Thomas W. Trumbull and 
Augustine Smith, two of her citizens, for a mandamus compelling the Commis- 
sioners to make an order removing the Circuit Court back to the old location. 
The principal grounds upon which the mandamus was asked, were that the seat 
of justice had been permanently located at Lyndon by Commissioners appointed 
under an act of the Legislature of the State, and that there were suitable build- 
ings at that place for holding courts, and for county purposes. The Court, upon 
hearing the case, refused to grant the writ, holding from the facts shown, that 
the buildings used for county purposes at Lyndon were not upon the ground 
donated by it to the county as was required by the statute. 

At the session of the Fifteenth General Assembly an act was passed 
entitled '• An act declaring the town of Sterling the County Seat of Whiteside 
County for a time, and under the conditions therein mentioned," which was 
approved by the Governor, February 16, 1847. One of the conditions, and the 
principal one mentioned in this act, was that the County Seat should be located 
at Sterling until such time as the county paid a sum sufficient to compensate 
the donors of lands and money in that town, for county purposes. This sum 
amounted to several thousand dollars, which the people of the county felt illy 
able to pay at that time. No steps were, therefore, taken to raise the amount. 

Under this act the County Commissioners at their June term in 1847, 
ordered the removal of the County Seat to Sterling, and held their next session 
there on the 7th of September. The Court House had been finished and prop- 
erly fitted up for county offices, and for holding the courts, in the meantime, so 
that comfortable and convenient quarters were afi'orded to all having connection 
with court and county business. 

It was now Lyndon's turn to obtain an act from the Legislature looking 
towards a re-location of the County Seat at that place, and the eff"orts put for- 
ward to this end secured the passage of an act entitled ''An act permanently 
to locate the seat of justice of Whiteside County," approved February 6, 1849. 
The first section of the act recites "that in pursuance of the fifth section of 
the seventh article of the constitution, the southeast quarter of the southeast 
quarter of section 16, in township 24, of range 5 east of the 4th principal mer- 
idian, in the county of Whiteside, is hereby fixed as the place to which it is pro- 
posed by this act to remove the seat of justice of sfiid county, as hereinafter 


provided; and the said place so fixed upon is hereby called and named Lyndon." 
The second section provided that the legal voters of the county should meet at 
their respective places of holding elections, on the first Tuesday in April, 1849, 
and proceed to vote according to law, as in other cases of elections, to perma- 
nently locate the seat of justice of the county, either at Lyndon or at Sterling, 
the latter place being the then temporary seat of justice, and whichever place 
should receive a majority of the legal votes given at the election, should there- 
after be the seat of justice of the county. It was also provided in the act that 
any person capable of contracting, might make a written offer or offers of land, 
money or other property at the March term of the County Commissioners' 
Court, in 1849, to aid in the erection of public buildings in the county, and 
that the offers should be entered of record, and be binding upon the person or 
persons making the same, in case Lyndon should be selected as the permanent 
seat of justice. The act also repealed the act entitled " An act declaring the 
town of Sterling the County Seat of Whiteside County for a time, under the 
conditions therein mentioned," approved February 16, 1847, and revived and 
continued in force the third and fourth sections of an act entitled "An act to 
permanently locate the seat of justice of the county of Whiteside," approved 
February 28, 1843, provided, that the first act should not be repealed unless the 
seat of justice should be removed to Lyndon, under the provisions of this act. 

In accordance with the provisions of this act James M. Pratt offered to 
donate 13 64-100 acres of land, and Augustine Smith 36 36-100 acres, in 
Lyndon, making together fifty acres, upon which to erect county buildings, and 
the citizens of Lyndon $1,432 in aid of the same purpose, and these offers were 
ordered spread upon their records by the County Commissioners at their March 
term, in 1849. 

The election was duly held under the act on the third day of April, 1849, 
and resulted as follows : 

Precincts. For Sterling. For Lyndon. Precincts. For Sterling. For Lyndon. 

Sterling 134 3 

Prophetstown, 4 76 

Portland, 8 73 

Albany, 100 13 

Genesee Grove, 57 7 

Round Grove, S3 33 

For Sterling 519 votes; tor Lyndon 451; majority in favor of Sterling 6S. 

This vote settled the location of the county seat at Sterling until 1857. 
During the session of the General Assembly of the State that year an act was 
passed entitled "An act for the removal of the seat of Justice of Whiteside coun- 
ty," which was approved by the Governor on the 7th of February. The act 
provided that an election should be held in the several townships of the county, 
at the time of holding the general election in November, 1857, at which time 
the legal voters of the county qualified to vote for Representatives in the Gen- 
eral Assembly, should vote for or against the removal of the seat of justice 
from Sterling to Morrison, in section 18 of township 21, range 5, and the re- 
turns made to the Clqrk of the County Court in the manner provided by law 
for the election of Justices of the Peace. In case a majority of the votes cast 
were in favor of the removal, the seat of justice would then be declared located 
in said section 18, in Morrison, provided, however, that the removal should not 
take place unless a good and sufficient deed should be made conveying in fee 
simple, free from all incumbrance, to the county, a certain tract of land not less 
than three hundred feet square in section 18, the deed to be executed and de- 
livered within a time to be fixed by the Board of Supervisors after they had 
selected a site for the county buildings, and provided further that the proprietors 

Fulton II 7' 

Erie, i 34 

Rapids 9 

Union Grove, Mi l6 

Lyndon 125 

76 History of whiteside county. 

of the town of Morrison pay to the county the sum of $3,000 to be applied to- 
wards the payment of the county buildings. The selection was not to be con- 
fined to the village plat of Morrison, but might be made upon any part of sec- 
tion 18. 

The election under the act was held On the third day of November, 1857, 
with the following result : 


For RemovaL 








For Removal. 


, , 



Garden Plain 







Union Grove, 


......... 6o 








Erie, ..' 


.'."..V.V.'.'.'. 200 


For removal 1631 votes, against removal 1572; majority in favor of re- 
moval, 59. 

At the November term, 1857, of the Board of Supervisors, Messrs. W. S. 
Barnes, A. Hurd, H. C. Fellows, P. B. Besse and D. 0. Coe, were appointed 
commissioners to examine and select the ground, at Morrison, upon which to 
erect the county buildings, and procure the deeds for the same, and also to re- 
ceive the $3,000 donated by the citizens of Morrison. 

The Commissioners reported at the next meeting of the Board that they 
had selected a tract of land in section 18, township 21 north, of range 5 east, 
upon which to erect the county buildings, bounded as follows : beginning at a 
stake bearing north 24 degrees east, two hundred and fourteen feet distant 
from the northwest corner of block 1 of the town of Morrison, within section 
18; thence south 160 feet; thence south 66 degrees east, 300 feet parallel 
with the north line of said block one ; thence at right angles, north 24 degrees 
east, 300 feet ; thence at right angles, north 66 degrees west, 364 feet ; thence 
at right angles, south 24 degrees west, 152 feet to the place of beginning, being 
the same land upon which the county buildings now stand. The Committee 
also reported that they had received a deed for the land made and executed ac- 
cording to the provisions of the act of the General Assembly, together with the 
three thousand dollars donated by the citizens of Mon-ison. 

The county offices were moved to Morrison on the 3d of May, 1858, and 
occupied temporary places until the present buildings were erected. The 
County Seat since that time has remained fixed at Morrison. 

County Buildings. 
The removal of the county seat from Sterling to Morrison in 1858 necessi- 
tated the erection of new county buildings throughout, and the Board of 
Supervisors set themselves at work with commendable energy to secure the 
construction of adequate edifices at the earliest possible period, having in view 
constantly the three great objects, beauty, safety, and durability. Previous to 
the erection of the proper buildings the coui-ts and county offices were provided 
for at different places in the city. 

Court House, 
The contract for building the court house was awarded to John A. McKay, 
of Springfield, the work to be done under the superintendence of a committee 
composed of E. B. Warner, R. G. Clendenin, and "W. S. Wilkinson. The con- 
tract was let on the 26th of December, 1863, and the structure was to be 
completed by the first of January, 1865,. at a coat of $14,000. The bidding for 


the work was quite spirited, four of the bidders residing outside of the county. 
In size the court house is eighty-five feet in length and fifty-five feet in width. 
The court room is a circle fifty-five feet in diameter, with a gallery on the 
second floor. On the first floor in the south wing is the Sheriff's office, the 
main entrance hall, and stairs leading to the second story. Tn the second story 
of this wing is the grand jury room, fitted up with necessary tables and seats, 
in which the Board of Supervisors also hold their meetings. On the first floor 
of the north wing is the law library, which is also used when required as a 
consultation room for counsel and clients, and on the second floor of this wing 
is the petit jury room. The heighth of the court room to the ceiling is twenty- 
three feet. Height to the top of the observatory, seventy feet. The walls of 
the building are of brick, with corners of cut stone. The structure occupies a 
position on beautifully elevated grounds, and from the dome can be seen for 
many miles around, one of the finest and most luxuriant agricultural sections of 
the State. The diagrams and specifications of the building were drawn by Mr. 
B. S. Foreman, Architect, of Morrison. The building was completed in the 
spring of 1866, and at the April term of the Board of Supervisors of that year 
the Committee on Public Buildings reported that John McKay, the contractor, 
had been paid the sum of $14,000, being the contract price for furnishing 
materials and labor, and erecting the structure, and that the work had been 
done substantially in accordance with the plans and specifications. Mr. McKay 
was also paid a further sum of $668.80 for extra labor and materials, making 
the whole cost of the court house $14,668.80. 

Clerks and Treasurer s Offices. 

At the April term of the Board of Supervisors in 1862 an appropriation 
of $1,200 was made for erecting a building for County Clerk's, Treasurer's and 
Circuit Clerk's and Recorder's offices, the work to be done under the supervision 
of E. B. Warner, R. G. Clendenin, and A. Farrington. The building is of stone 
with iron shutters, fire proof, and divided into three i-ooms so as to accommodate 
the different county officers who occupy it. It is situated on the western 
part of the county grounds, on the same eminence with the court house, 
and was completed during the year. 

County Jail. 
The first resolution to erect a county jail was passed by the Board of 
Supervisors at their January term in 1858, and the contract let to Charles 
Neilson at the March term following, for $10,100. Thefirstcost of the jail was 
limited to $6,000, but that sum was found insufficient to erect an adequate 
building for the need of the county. The additional sum of $4,100 became 
necessary to construct it, and add to it the jailor's residence. Supervisors 
W. S. Barnes, H. C. Fellows and A. C. Jackson were appointed a committee 
to receive bids, award the contract, and also superintend the construction of 
the building. The structure was fully completed under the contract in the 
winter of 1858 and '59. For several years the building answered the purpose 
as originally constructed, but in 1876 it became apparent that improvements 
should be made to it, and at the September session of the Board of Supervisors 
in that year, an appropriation of $4,900 was ordered for the purpose of repairing 
and rebuilding the inside, the work to be done under the superintendence of 
Supervisors Besse, Pennington, Milnes, Spafford, and Wallace. The committee 
let the contract to P. J. Pauley & Bro., of St Louis, who at once commenced 
work, and in December of the same year it was completed and accepted by the 
county. The improvements consisted in the substitution of eight iron cells, 


capable of accommodating four prisoners each, in place of the illy ventilated 
stone cells. The new cells are ten feet deep, six and one-fourth feet wide, and 
seven feet high, with a steel corridor five feet wide and twenty-six feet long in 
front. The jailors residence is a fine two story brick building, with basement, 
on the south front of, and connected with the jail. 

Goxmty Poor House and Farm. 
At the June term of the Board of Supervisors, in 1853, a committee con- 
sisting of W. C. Snyder, Wm. Y. Wetzell and James M. Pratt, was appointed 
to enquire into the expediency of purchasing a farm and erecting suitable 
buildings for the purpose of helping and maintaining the county paupers, who 
afterwards reported that they had selected a farm in Union Grove township 
consisting of two hundred and forty acres, of which one hundred and twenty 
acres were enclosed and under cultivation. The farm was reported to be prai- 
rie with the exception of thirty acres of savanna, and about eight acres of pas- 
sable wood land, and was watered by never failing springs. The buildings con- 
sisted of a good stone house, barn and outbuildings of wood. The cost of the 
farm was $25 per acre, and the payments to be one half cash, and the balance 
in one and two years' time with interest at ten per cent, per annum. The report 
was accepted, and a committee appointed to purchase the farm at the terms 
reported, the farm to be known as the " County Poor Farm." This farm was 
used for the purposes for which it was purchased, until 1869, when it was sold, 
the right of occupation being, however, reserved until April 1, 1870. 

At the April term in 1869, the Board of Supervisors appointed James M. 
Pratt, L. S. Pennington and H. R. Sampson a committee to select another and 
more suitable location for a poor farm, which should be near a railroad, the 
committee also being authorized to erect upon it suitable buildings of stone or 
brick. At the July term the committee reported that they had selected a farm 
containing one hundred and eight acres belonging to Wm. Knox, on the Ster- 
ling and Morrison road, just north of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, and 
situated in section 23, township 21 north, range 5 east, the price to be $45 per 
acre. Upon the presentation of the report the committee were directed to 
purchase the farm of Mr. Knox, and proceed to the erection of buildings, the 
cost of the latter not to exceed $15,000. Bids for the construction of the Poor 
House upon the plan adopted by the committee were at once advertised for, and 
at the September term, 1869, the contract awarded to Switzer & Kennedy, of 
Morrison, for $11,600. They were also to receive an additional sum of $400 for 
stone caps to doors and windows, and for grouting the bottom of the basement, 
as their bid did not include these additions. The heating furnace, cisterns and 
outbuildings were not included in the contract. The Poor House building and 
the barn were completed in the summer of 1870, and at the September term of 
the Board the committee reported that they had paid Switzer & Kennedy $11,- 
900 for the construction of the former, and $1,548 for the latter, as provided 
in the contract. 

The Poor House is 72 by 50 feet in size and three stories high with base- 
ment. On the ground floor are the family kitchen, paupers' kitchen and dining 
room, cellar, furnace room, two bath rooms, two pantries and the store rooms. 
The first floor contains a large sitting room in the center of the building and 
two bed rooms in the rear. On either side of the sitting room is a vestibule, 
which on one side connects with an office, and on the other with a parlor. Back 
of the parlor and ofl[ice are four sleeping rooms, and two cells. The second 
floor is divided into twelve apartments, in four of which are capacious closets. 
The building is divided into two distinct portions, one intended for the use of 


male, and the other of female inmates. In the front of the house are fine stone 
steps with iron railings leading to an extensive porch, surmounted by an elabo- 
rately finished portico. The general architecture of the exterior, as well as the 
interior of the house froAi the basement to the attic, shows that the whole work 
was done by master hands. The farm lies on both sides of the road, the land 
being slightly rolling, and admirably adapted for agricultural purposes. There 
is a fine apple orchard on the place, besides a great variety of small fruits such 
as grapes, raspberries, plums, currants, etc. Taken altogether the County 
Poor Farm affords a home which equals that of many outside of its precincts, 
who scorn the name of pauper, and the fact that a liberal and ample provision 
is thus made for the poor of the county, reflects great credit upon the generos- 
ity and humanity of its inhabitants. 

County Insane Building. 

It soon appeared after the County Poor House became occupied 
that better and more ample accommodation was necessary for the care and 
protection of the insane poor. The people of the county determined early that 
this unfortunate class of the population should have the best care that could be 
given them, and hence had assigned to them proper rooms in the old as well as 
the new County Poor House. With the increase of population came an in- 
crease of the number of these persons, demanding more full accommodation 
which could only be properly effected by the construction of a separate build- 
ing. At the September term of the Board of Supervisors, in IST-t, it was 
therefore recommended that an appropriation be made for the erection of a 
building for this purpose on the County Poor Farm. The committee on paupers, 
of the Board, was at the same time appointed a special building committee to 
procure the necessary plans and specifications, and report them, with an esti- 
mate of the entire expense of erecting the structure, at a special meeting of the 
Board to be held as soon as the report could be prepared. The special meet- 
ing was held in December, 1874, when the following plan of the building was 
adopted. The building to be 32 by 44 feet, to stand detached from the main 
county building at a distance of eighteen or twenty feet, running north and 
south, and to consist of a stone basement ten feet in height, and two stories of 
brick each ten feet high, containing sixteen cells, with ample hall and room on 
each floor for recreation and exercise. The contract for constructing the build- 
ing was let to J. A. & A. McKay, of Morrison, at a cost of $5,995, to which 
$100 was afterwards added for flues. James B. Mason was appointed Superin- 
tendent of the work, and Mr. Piatt, of Sterling, as arbitrator to whom all matter 
of changes as to prices should be referred. On the 29th of November, 1875, 
the committee reported to the Board of Supervisors that they had on that day 
accepted the Insane Building as completed, and settled with the contractors, J. 
A. & A. McKay, the total cost of the building being $7,429,47. 

Circuit Court. 
The first Circuit Court for the couuty of Whiteside was ordered to be held 
on the second Monday of September, 1839, at Lyndon, but for some reason was 
not held until the Thursday after the third 3Ionday in April, 1840. At that 
term there were present, Hon. Dan. Stone, Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, 
Erastus G. Nichols, Clerk, Shelton L. Hall, Circuit Attorney, and James C. 
Woodburn, Sheriff. The following attorneys were also present: Harvey k 
Woodruff, Edward Southwick, Hugh Wallace, J. M. Goodhue, James McCoy, 
Knox & Drury, Isaiah H. Marshall, Isaac Hopkins, L. B. Knowlton, Mr. Fraser, 
Mr. Evans, Mr. Davidson and Mr- Kellogg. 


The Sheriff returned in Court the following named persons as grand jurors: 
Jason Hopkins, Wiatt Cantrall, Henry Burlingame, Jacob Sells, James Talbot, 
Jeremiah Johnson, James Row, Hiram Harmon, Jabez Warner, W. F. Van Nor- 
man, A. "W. Newhall, Brainard Orton, John C. Pratt, Jonathan Haines, D. B. 
Young. "\Vm. Wick. John Wick, Erastus Allen, P. B. Vannest. David Mitchell, 
Hosea Jacobs. Daniel Reed, Edmund Cowdrey and C G. Woodruff. The Court 
ordered the Sheriff to summon six other persons, having the qualifications of 
grand jurors, from the bystanders, and the following were summoned accord- 
ingly: Wm. Heaton, Ivory Colcord, A. J. Matson, Horatio Wells, Chas. R. Rood 
and Hezekiah Brink. Wiatt Cantrall and C. G. Woodruff were afterwards dis- 
charged for cause. 

Erastus G. Nichols resigned the position of Clerk, and R. L. Wilson was 
appointed by the Court in his stead. 

The first case entered upon the docket was entitled '' William R. Cox vs. 
Hutchins Crocker, Assumpsit." Upon its being called the plaintiff's attorney 
appeared, and on his motion it was ordered that the suit be dismissed at plain- 
tiff's costs. 

Isaiah H. Marshall, Joseph Knox and Isaac Hopkins were, upon motion, 
admitted as attorneys and counsellors of the Court ex gratia. 

Writs were issued against John Baker, A. M. AVing, Alfred Slocumb, 
Henry Boyer, A. C. Jackson, Harry Smith, John Chapman, Isaac Merrill and 
W. S. Barnes, for contempt of court in failing to attend as grand jurors, and also 
against J. A. Reynolds, D. P. Brewer, Lyman Blake, H. F. Rice. J. T. Atkin- 
son, Joseph Town, Charles Clark, Ivy Buck, Chester Lusk, Van J. Adams and 
E. Wick, for contempt in failing to attend as petit jurors. 

At the May term of the Circuit Court, in 1841, the first divorce case of 
which there is any record in Whiteside County, was entered upon the docket. 
In that suit Mary Beeman prayed for a divorce a vi)icuJo from her unworthy 
liege lord. James Beeman. The first criminal trial in the county was also held 
at this term of the Circuit Court, and was entitled "The People vs. Daniel 
Dolan, rape."' The case was tried on a change of venue from Lee. The jury 
found Dolan guilty, and fixed his punishment at three years in the penitentiary. 

The following are the circuits to which Whiteside has been attached, 
together with the counties composing them, and the times fixed for holding 
Court in Whiteside. 

By an act of the General Assembly approved March 2, 1839, the 6th Judi- 
cial Circuit included the counties of Rock Island, Whiteside, Carroll, Stephen- 
son, Winnebago, Boone and Jo Daviess, and provided that terms of the Court 
be held in Whiteside County on the second Mondays of April and September. 
The act of 1840, however, changed the time to the first Thursdays after the 
third Mondays in April and September. 

The act approved February 2.3, 1841, gave to the 6th Judicial Circuit the 
counties of Jo Daviess, Stephenson. Winnebago, Boone, Lee, Carroll, White- 
side, Rock Island, Mercer and Henry, and fixed the time for holding courts in 
Whiteside on the second Monday of May, and the third Monday of September, 
in each year. 

By the act approved February 27, 1847, the counties of Lee, Whiteside, 
Henry, Mercer, Rock Island, Carroll and Jo Daviess were made to constitute 
the 6th Judicial Circuit, with the terms in Whiteside to be held at Sterling on 
the third Monday in April, and the fourth Monday in August of each year. In 
1849 the Circuit was changed so as to include the counties of Jo Daviess, Ste- 
phenson, Ogle, Lee, Whiteside and Carroll, with the terms in AVhiteside to be 
held on the third Mondays in April an4 September, jind was again changed in 


1851 so as to include Henry, Rock Island, Ogle, Lee, Carroll and Whiteside, 
with terms in the latter on the third Mondays in April, and the first Mondays 
in October in each year. Between 1851 and 1857 the composition of the Cir- 
cuit remained the same, while the terms of Court in Whiteside were changed 
twice, first in 1852 to the second Mondays in April and fourth Mondays in Octo- 
ber, and in 1855 to the second Mondays in April and the second Mondays in 

The act approved February 5, 1857, provided that the counties of Lee, 
Ogle, Whiteside and Carroll should compose a Judicial Circuit to be called the 
22d Judicial Circuit, with the terms of Court in Whiteside to be held on the 
fourth Mondays in March and October. This act also provided for the election 
of the Judge and a State's Attorney. In 1859 terms of Court were ordered for 
Whiteside on the third Monday in January and May, and the second Monday in 
August, and in 1871 the terms were increased to four, to be held on the fourth 
Monday in August, first Monday in December and second Monday in March and 
June. By the act of March 28, 1873, Whiteside, Carroll, Ogle and Lee were 
made the 3d Circuit, terms unchanged; and by the act approved June 2, 1877, 
Winnebago, Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, Whiteside, Ogle and Lee were con- 
stituted the 13th Circuit, with three Judges. The terms of Court in Whiteside 
so far have not been changed. 

Following is a list of the Judges of the Circuit Court to the present date; 
also a list of the State's Attorneys in the Circuit to 1872, when the ofiice was 
abolished so far as it applied to Judicial Circuits, and a State's Attorney was 
elected in each county in the State: 

Judges:— 18-LO, "Dan Stone; 1841-'48, Thos. C. Browne; 1849-'50, Benj. 
R. Sheldon; 1851-'55, Ira 0. Wilkinson; 1855-'56, J. Wilson Drury; 1857-'61, 
John V. Eustace; 1862-'77, Wm. W. Heaton. 

States Attorneys for the CWcwiV;— 1840-'42, Shelton L. Hall; 1843-'44, 
Jos. B. Wells; 1845, Jas. L. Loop; 1845-'46, Thos. L. Turner; 1847-52, 
Henry B. Stillman; 1853-'57, Wm. T. Miller; 1858-'60, Robt. C. Burchell; 
1861-'72, David McCartney. 

County States Attorney: — 1872-'77, David McCartney. 

Probate and County Courts. 

By an act of the Greneral Assembly, approved March 4, 1837, each county 
of the State was authorized to elect one additional Justice of the Peace, ''to be 
styled by way of eminence and distinction, the Probate Justice of the Peace." 
These Justices were vested with the same powers and jurisdiction in civil cases, 
and were subject to the same rules of law, as other Justices of the Peace. In 
addition to these judicial powers, they were vested with the following minister- 
ial powers: 

To administer all oaths or affirmations concerning any matter or thing 
before them; to issue and grant letters of administration, testamentary, and 
of guardianship, and repeal the same; to take probate of wills, and repeal the 
same; to determine the person or persons entitled to letters of administration, 
or to letters testamentai-y, and in general to do and perform all things concerning 
the granting of letters testamentary, of administration or of guardianship; to 
receive, file, and record inventories, appraisement and sale bills; to require 
executors, administrators and guardians to exhibit and settle their accounts, and 
settle for the estates and property in their hands, and for that purpose to issue 
citations and attachments into every county in the State, to be executed by the 
Sheriff of the county. 

The first record of this court in Whiteside County, was made on the 29th 



of October, 1839. where the will of Joseph H. Carr was admitted to probate. 
Ivory Colcord and Wm. Wick were appointed administrators under the will, 
and gave bond in the sum of $800. The first Probate Justice of the Peace 
elected was Daniel B. Young, who was commissioned June 6. 1839, and held the 
office until February 8, 1842, when Robert L. Wilson assumed the duties. Col. 
Wilson continued in the position until 1849, when the powers and duties of the 
office were transferred to the County Court which had been created by an act of 
the General Assembly that year. 

The act of the General Assembly approved February 12, 1849, provided 
that there should be established in each county in the State, a court of record 
to be styled the County Court, to be held by, and consist of one judge 
styled the County Judge. The act also provided that the County Judge should 
be elected on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, 1849, and every 
four years thereafter, and that a clerk of the court should be elected in each 
county at the same time and place of electing the judge, the term of the clerk 
to be the same as that of the judge. The County Court was vcvsted under the 
act with all the powers and jurisdiction of the Probate Court. The act further 
provided that the County Judge, with two Justices of the Peace designated and 
provided for, should, in all cases whatever, sit as a County Court, and have, 
exercise, and possess all the power, jurisdiction and authority of the County 
Commissioners" Court. And that terms for the transaction of county business, 
be held on the first Mondays of December, March, June and September, in 
each year. The terms for the transaction of probate business were ordered to 
be held on third Mondays of the months when the County Court was held, and 
on the first Monday of every other month. Under this act N. G. Reynolds was 
elected the first County Judge. 

By the law of 1871-72 County Courts in addition to their probate powers, 
have concurrent jurisdiction with the Circuit Courts in all classes of cases 
wherein Justices of the Peace have jurisdiction, where the amount claimed, or 
the value of property in controversy, shall not exceed $500, and in all crim- 
inal offenses and misdemeanors where the punishment is not imprisonment in 
the penitentiary, or death. No appeals, however, are allowed from Justices of 
the Peace to the County Courts. The term of the court for probate matters 
commences on the third Monday in each month, except the months provided for 
holding law terms, which by the law of the last General Assembly were fixed for 
Whiteside County, to be held on the second Monday of January, May and 
October, in each year. 

Early Life of Pioneers, and Incidents. 

The hardships, toils and privations endured by the early settlers of White- 
side County cannot be written in a chapter. Not that our pioneers encountered 
more difficulties than usually fall to the lot of those who first push forward into 
new sections of the country, but because words fail to adequately describe all 
that these brave people are compelled to pass through in the establishment of 
their homes in an unbroken and uncultivated land," let it be where it may. 
Many of Whiteside's pioneers had been brought up where abundance prevailed, 
and where every article of luxury, to say nothing of necessitj-, could be had 
almost within the stretch of a hand. Markets were convenient, help plenty, 
and money eas}- of attainment. They knew nothing of the embarrassments of 
isolation. All around them were cities, villages and hamlets. In distress there 
were neighbors to assist; in prosperity hundreds came to congratulate them. 
When they needed medicine the man of pills and potions could be found '^right 
around the corner," and when they got into a bad fix a learned counsellor could 


be retained by going up "the very next stairs." The pastor was handy for a 
marriage, and always at home for a funeral. Societies for raising money for the 
conversion of the Hottentot and Hindoo, and for retailing neighborhood gossip, 
met weekly at some good sister's house where spiced cake and strong tea were 
dispensed. In short they were surrounded by all the elements of an advanced 
civilization, and gloried in the fact that the land of their birth was a land over- 
flowing with corn and wine, and where every man was a friend to his neighbor 
and the "rest of mankind." But when they came to the broad prairies of the 
West they found everything changed. For miles there was not a human 
habitation. The great plains spread all around blooming in the spring time 
with the beautiful prairie flowers, and swept in the autumn and winter by the 
fierce winds which found no obstacle in their onward path save the dying grass. 
To be sure the rains descended as they did at their old homes, and the soft 
moan of the summer breeze sounded as familiarly as it did on the New England 
Hills, or in the valleys of the Middle States, but all else was new, lonesome and 
desolate. With brave hearts, however, they built their little cabins, and 
plunged the shining share into the unbroken glebe, and that success crowned 
their labors is well attested by the broad and fertile fields, and beautiful farm 
houses, thrifty orchards, and flourishing cities and towns, which now make 
Whiteside County one of the wealthiest and most prosperous in the State. 

When the earliest settlers came to Whiteside the methods of travel were 
of the most primitive kind, and the way encountered with difficulties and 
dangers. The great lines of railway which now intersect almost every nook 
and corner of our great State, were unknown. In fact there were but few 
known roads, and those but seldom traveled. Trails led here and there, and 
these were followed as far as possible, and when one could not be found, the 
sun during the day, and the north star at night, guided the pioneer toward his 

The first work of the settler, after making a claim, was to erect a shelter 
for himself and family. These habitations were rude, but answered the purpose 
until the advancing years brought the means to build others of ampler room, and 
more imposing exteriors, yet we have it from those who now own their almost 
palatial residences, that the happiest years of their western life were passed in 
the prairie cabins. The hard work was to "break the prairie," for after that 
was done the deep loose soil was easily tilled, and produced abundantly. The 
trouble then was not in raising crops, but to find a market for them. For a 
number of years grain had to be taken to Chicago before it could be sold, and 
then the prices paid were very low, the entire proceeds of a load being hardly 
sufficient to purchase the actual "store goods" needed by the settler's family. 

The journey to Chicago and return at that time for a Whiteside farmer, 
took about twelve days. Horses and mules were not very plenty then in "this 
neck of the woods," so the patient ox had to be yoked, and goaded on to the city 
on the lake. The settler would start when the earliest beams of the coming 
day streaked the horizon, and travel with all the rapidity he could until dark- 
ness closed in when he would be obliged to camp. This would be done by 
tethering his team, preparing his meal which he had brought from home, and 
then making his bed on the load, or if the ground was dry enough, under the 
wagon. The roads, or rather the trails, were in many places indistinct, and the 
passage, especially across the sloughs and streams, very laborious. In many in- 
stances the wagons would get mired in these sloughs, and the unlucky person 
owning them, or having them in charge, be obliged to wait until help came be- 
fore they could be extricated from their imbedment, unless several settlers went 
in company, when they could help each other. These occurrences were very 


frequent, and occasioned a great deal of inconvenience and loss, but what could 
the settler do ? He had a family to provide for, and the only way of procuring 
some of the actual necessaries of life was by selling his wheat, and that wheat 
could only find a market in Chicago. The price of wheat varied at that time 
from twenty-five to sixty cents per bushel, so that the load, generally about 
fifty bushels, would scarcely bring enough to purchase the dry goods and gro- 
ceries needed for the family. The nights on the journey home were usually passed 
in the same manner as those going in, as the surplus cash after the purchases 
were made was very small in amount. The way-side inns were in most cases 
of necessity passed by, much to the regret no doubt of the rubicund hosts. 

The prairies and groves, however, Avere full of game, so that when the 
meat barrel got low, the table could be bountifully supplied with venison, and 
prairie chicken. In lieu of cloth hides of deer were sometimes dried, and made 
into breeches and coats and the raccoon furnished oil for the lamps, and fur for 
caps. The Indians were somewhat numerous at first, but as a general thing 
were peaceable. They remained only a few years after the settlement of the 
county, and then departed for their reservations at the far west. The peaceful 
disposition of these Indians saves us recounting any of the fearful scenes of 
border life which occurred in other localities. 

Added to the other privations of the early settlers was the want of the 
church and school. Most of them came from localities where the privileges of 
both were abundant, and the utter lack of them at their new homes was a de- 
privation which was very severely felt. But with the energy charactistic of the 
pioneer they set themselves at work as early as possible to secure the services 
of the teacher and minister. Where they were not able to erect even a rude 
school house, or ruder church structure, the cabin of the settler was thrown 
open for both religious and educational purposes. The determination was 
strong that the children should not grow up in ignorance, nor want the benefit 
of moral and religious training. For quite a time religious services were con- 
ducted by some pious settler when a minister could not be obtained, and the 
school kept by a man or woman of the neighborhood who had received a good 
education at the schools of his of- her early home. Educational and religious 
matters were conducted in this way for several years, much to the advantage of 
both the older and younger people. Now there are schools and churches all 
over the county, and almost at the very doors of its citizens. 

The wants of the early inhabitants of the county were few and simple as 
compared with those of the present day. The cotiee was neither Java, Kio nor 
Mocha, nor even chicory, but a substitute made from wheat, rye, potatoes or 
burnt bread, and when carefully manipulated by the superior cooks of those 
times, who were the wives and mothers of the household, and not the irrepres- 
sible hired girl of this period, the compound was claimed to be but little inferior 
to the genuine article. Substitutes of this kind became a necessity, as the prices 
of wheat, corn and pork ran very low, and money was scarce and difficult to 
procure. Men's wages were only from 37^ to 50 cents per day, and women's 
from 50 cents to $1 per week. 

Many persons at that day followed transportation as an occupation, and it 
is represented that those were the most successful who substituted oxen for 
horses. It was desirable for both farmer and transportation men to have as 
many teams go together as possible, as difficulties would often occur between 
different parties, and might was right when beyond the reach of a Justice of the 
Peace, and a Constable. Parties engaged in hauling wheat to Chicago charged 
from twenty to twenty-five cents a bushel, and loaded back with salt, iron, nails, 
Jeather, and sometimes dry goods and groceries, for which they made a separate 


charge. A horse team would make from twenty to twenty-five miles a day, and 
an ox team from ten to fifteen miles. 

Almost every State had its representatives in Whiteside in the early days, 
as well as at the present, but it was found more difficult to fraternize then than 
now. In new countries it takes a little time for persons brought up under dif- 
ferent religious, social and political organizations, to freely associate with each 
other, but being poor alike, and their needs of the same class, they soon became 
accustomed to one another. As a rule our early settlers were intelligent, moral 
and law abiding. For the first twelve years of our history the records of the 
Circuit Court show that not a single person was convicted before it who had 
committed a crime in the county. Social intercourse early became unrestrained, 
the only tests being intelligence and moral honesty. If any were in distress 
their wants were immediately relieved. In the spring and summer a favorite 
amusement of those who lived in the vicinity of the rivers and creeks, was fish- 
ing with spears by a light made by burning hickory bark, and in the fall and 
winter all turned out to hunt the deer and chase the prairie wolf. 

The Second State Bank of Illinois was Avinding up its business, and its notes 
were very much depreciated. The only good paper was a small supply of the 
bills of the State Bank of Missouri. The bank stock of the State was the 
Illinois State bonds, and they had run down to twenty cents on the dollar. 
Shortly afterwards the General Assembly passed a law creating a system of free 
banking, called the safety fund system, following the example of New York. 
The bonds of the Southern and Western States were used as the banking capital, 
and the result was a very unsafe instead of a safe system. Money became 
plenty. Every individual or corporation that could, purchased State bonds, as 
they were abundant and cheap, and issued promises to pay thereon. Watering 
stock became as common among statesmen and bankers, as watering milk among 
dairymen. Banks grew up all over the State, like Jonah's gourd, in a night. 
No one knew or appeared to care whether the money was good or bad. This 
pernicious inflation resulted in inflating prices. Wages advanced over one hun- 
dred per cent., and everything else in proportion. Money became so plenty, 
and of such doubtful value, that to get rid of the shinplasters, as they were 
called, land, merchandise, produce, in fact everything that would sell, ran up to 
over double the former value. This state of things prevailed until a wiser sys- 
tem of legislation was adopted, and banks compelled to base their issue upon a 
sound capital. 

The settlers prior to 1840 had the pick of the land. All around them then 
extended the broad prairies, and a claim could be made on the choicest sections. 
These claims were generally "staked out," and some improvement made upon 
them, in order that they might be held until the Government placed the land in 
market, when some one or more of the claim owners were selected to go to 
Dixon or Galena and bid in such parts as were wanted, or means could be raised 
to pay for. Attempts were made in many instances to '-jump" these claims by 
parties who came afterwards, and the frequency and boldness with which this 
was done, led to the organization of societies by the legitimate claimants for 
protection against these second hand men. These claim fights, as they were 
called, will be found fully described further along in this chapter. It is reported 
that many selected their claims by going on an eminence and looking over the 
surrounding prairie. When the eyes of one had fallen upon a point that suited 
him he would say, " as for me and my house, I will dwell there," and in due 
time the little rude cabin was erected, and the heavy sod broken and made to 
produce a " sod crop." 

The fame of Rock River Valley as an unsurpassed agricultural district 


became known at quite an early day, the river itself being then a navigable 
stream for boats of light draft. The first steamboat which plied the river as 
far as Sterling, was the Pioneer, commanded by D. S. Harris, and came up in 
1836. The iV. P. Raicks, Gypsey and other steamers followed soon after. 
They made landings at every point were there was the semblance of a town. In 
1844 the Lighter went up as far as Janesville, Wisconsin. The boats were 
mostly freighted with dry goods and groceries from St. Louis. About 1851 a 
schooner, built at Kishwaukee, ran down the river and cut all the ferry ropes. 
The master was prosecuted at several places, but defeated his prosecutors on 
the ground that Rock river was a navigable stream. 

By the act of the General Assembly, approved February 27, 1837, entitled 
" an act to establish and maintain a general system of internal improvement," 
$100,000 was appropriated for the improvement of Rock river, and at the ses- 
sion of 1838, $50,000 was additionally appropriated, and operations actually 
commenced, but owing to the hard times at that period, and the unskillful man- 
agement of the public funds by those who had them in charge, the great system 
of internal improvements which had been inaugurated in the State, collapsed 
before the work on any single portion, with the exception of the Illinois and 
Michio-an Canal, had progressed far. Evidences of the work under this system 
can be seen in this county on the south bank of Rock river from Rock Falls up 
around the rapids, in the shape now of a half filled canal. The design was to 
have boats go around these rapids by way of the canal. This matter of internal 
improvement, so far as it relates to Whiteside County, will be found more fully 
sketched in the history of Coloma township. The idea of making Rock river 
navio-able, however, vanished long ago, and the waters of the stream are now 
used for a much more profitable purpose. 

While these schemes for the improvement of the navigation of the river 
were o-oing on, the valley was being rapidly settled, and a thriving and intelli- 
gent people improving farms which now have no superior in beauty and fertility 
in Northwestern Illinois. The great Father of Waters washing the western 
boundary of the county also early attracted settlers, in fact the earliest settler, 
John Baker, established himself on its banks in 1833, as will be seen by reference 
to the history of Fulton township. The high bluifs along the river for most of 
the distance on the county line present a bar to agricultural industry to any ex- 
tent, but back of them extend the same rich prairies that are found in other 
portions of the county. Before the era of railroads the Mississippi river was 
the great thoroughfare for commerce and travel north and south, and along its 
banks sprung up thriving towns. Fulton and Albany, in this county, are among 
the earliest towns that grew up on the upper river. But with the advent of 
railroads the latter especially has suffered heavily, yet retains a good share of 

Although Whiteside was not an unhealthy county even at an early day, 
yet the disciples of Esculapius were around in fair numbers, and dosed out jalop 
and calomel with an unsparing hand. Several bills of a physician practising in 
Portland in 1838 have been resurrected, showing how medicine was dealt out 
to the pioneers. One of the bills is dated November 1,1838, and is as follows; 

Benj. Smith to Dr. Wm. Price. Dr. 

July 15, To cathartic pills % 25 

" 16, " two visits, cathartic pills, emetic, Dover's powders, etc i .50 

" 17," visit, oil, pills, etc. . . i-oo 

*' 19, " calomel, jalop, and oil 5° 

" 22, " 15 grains quinine and phial i • 00 


" 24, " calomel and medicine 50 

" 25, " calomel and medicine, Dover's powders and oil c,o 

" 26, " oil and Dover's powders 50 

" 27, " visit, oil, Dover's powders, and calomel 50 

" 27, " calomel, oil 25 

" 28, " calomel, oil and pills 50 

" 29, " calomel and sulphur 25 

Aug. 28, " visit at night, calomel, jalop and laudanum i .00 

Sept. 1, " visit, pills and advice 75 

" 2, " calomel, jalop, pills, laudanum, etc 75 

" 3, " visit at night, laudanum and oil i.oo 

" 6, " visit at night, calomel, oil and jalop i .00 

" 8, " three portions jalop and cream tartar 50 

The bill shows that the doses were large, the medicine strong, and the 
prices low, yet we think our readers would infinitely prefer the higher charges 
and milder doses of the present day, rather than the heroic doses and smaller 
prices of early times. 

Annexation to Wisconsin. 

One of the leading questions which agitated the people of the county as 
early as 1841. was that of setting off to the then Territory of Wisconsin that 
portion of the State of Illinois north of a line drawn from the southern bend or 
extremity of Lake Michigan due west to the Mississippi river. It was held 
that by the fifth article of the ordinance of Congress entitled: "An ordinance 
for the government of the Northwestern Territory," the southern boundary line 
of the State which should be formed must be on the line above mentioned, and 
that it could not be changed without the consent of the original States, and of 
the people in the Northwest Territory. The line, however, had been changed 
by act of Congress to where it now is without any such consent. Meetings 
were held in all parts of Northwestern Illinois in favor of the line as originally 
established by the ordinance, and means taken so far as the same were possible 
to have Congress repeal the act fixing the northern boundary line of the State 
of Illinois so far above it. 

The feeling in favor of this change was intensified by the fact that a 
corrupt and profligate Legislature was at the time entailing upon the people a 
debt of millions upon millions of dollars by means of wild and extravagant leg- 
islation, known as internal improvements. The debt of the State of Illinois 
was then about eighteen millions of dollars, with the State paper worth only 
fifteen cents on the dollar. LTnder these circumstances it is no wonder that 
the people desired to get out of the State, and the question of properly estab- 
lishing the northern boundary line afforded a good opportunity for making the 
application. But thanks to the moral courage and honesty of the people of the 
whole State, a new constitution Avas framed and adopted, which entirely changed 
the constitutional powers of the Legislature, and closed the doors to the entire 
horde of public plunderers. Means were also provided for an honest payment 
of the public debt, thus doing away with these reasons for desiring to become 
connected with another commonwealth. At the time of the agitation of the 
question, however, there was apparently no chance for the accomplishment of so 
worthy and honorable an object. Wheat was worth only twenty-five cents per 
bushel, and pork from fifty cents to one dollar per hundred, at that time, and 
these prices could only be obtained after a tedious voyage to Chicago with an 
ox-team. Groaning under a heavy State debt, and almost unable to raise monej- 
for their produce wherewith to pay for their land, and supply themselves with 
actual necessaries of life, the people felt like adopting any method which looked 
toward relief. 


Elections were called in the different counties which would be affected by 
the change of the State line, for the purpose of allowing the people to express 
their sentiment upon the matter at the ballot box. The election in Whiteside 
was held in the year 1841, and resulted as follows as appears from the official 
record of the County Commissioners' Court : 

Precincts. For being set off. Against. 

Fulton 41 

Lyndon 69 i 

Portland 49 

Union Grove 46 i 

Prophetstown 46 1 

Total 308 3 

The returns of the vote in the precincts of Round Grove, Rapids, Genesee 
Grove and Sterling do not appear. 

The same unanimity of feeling in favor of becoming a part of Wisconsin, 
prevailed in the other counties, but notwithstanding it, and the active co-oper- 
ation of the people and authorities of Wisconsin, the object failed of being 
accomplished. Had the boundary line been drawn as desired, the southern line 
of Whiteside Count;f would have formed a part of the southern line of the State 
of Wisconsin. At this day there are but few in our county who know anything 
of this project to sever its connection with the great State of Illinois, and become 
a part of our neighboring State on the north. 

Marriage Licenses. 
The first marriage license issued under the county organization bears the 
date of June 13, 1839, the certificate reading as follows : "State of Illinois, 
Whiteside County, ss : Simeon Fuller, Esq., certifies by his certificate that he 
joined in marriage Sanford C. 3Iarch with Lueinda C. Smith. Guy Ray, Clerk 
County Commissioners' Court. Recorded July 1, 1839." Eleven marriages were 
recorded in 1839. one being that of Harvey Breston of Grant County, Wiscon- 
sin Territory, and Jane Hall, of Genesee Grove, Whiteside County, Illinois. In 
1840 twenty-.six licenses were recorded, signed Guy Ray, Clerk of County Com- 
missioners' Court, by A. Smith, Deputy. In 1841 twenty-three licenses were 
recorded, a portion of them this year being signed John Roy, Clerk, by J. A. 
Reynolds, Deputy. Twenty-five were recorded in 1842, signed John Roy, Clerk, 
by J. E. Roy, Deputy, the latter gentleman now a prominent minister of Chi- 
cago. In 1843 only seventeen were recorded; in 1844, twenty-six; in 1845, 
thirty-nine; in 1846, thirty-three; in 1847, thirty-seven; in 1848, fifty-six; in 
1849, fifty-two; in 1850, fifty-six, the records of the marriages this year being 
signed by numerous Justices of the Peace, clergymen and by N. G. Reynolds, 
Judge of the County Court. 

From 1851 to January, 1877 inclusive the number of licenses issued each 
year are as follows : In 1851, 60; 1852, 72; 1853, 63; 1854,114; 1855, 140; 
1856,190; 1857,146; 1858,194; 1859,154; 1860,161; 1861,175; 1862,152; 
1863,145; 1864,203; 1865,224; 1866,297; 1867,248; 1868,254; 1869,273; 
1870, 264; 1871, 250; 1872,239; 1073.259; 1874,270; 1875,274; 1876, 

First Instruments Recorded. 

The first indenture recorded was executed on the 24th of September. 1838, 

between Alfred Bergen and Samuel Mitchell, of Albany, Whiteside County, the 

former in consideration of $2,000 conveying his undivided interest in the 

Steam Saw Mill at Albany, on the Mississippi river, built in 1837 by Chas. S. 



Dorsey and Alfred Bergen. The indenture waa to secure a promissory note 
given by Bergen to Mitchell in 1837. 

The following bond was recorded in October, 1839, being the first one of 
the kind on record : "Know all men by these presents, that we Alfred Slocumb, 
Wm. Nevitt, Gilbert Buckingham and Lewis Spurlock, of Whiteside County, 
are held and firmly bound to Mathew Chambers and Pariah Owen, of Knox 
County, and Erasmus D. Rice, of Fulton County, in the sum of $10,000 to be 
paid to said parties. Whereas the above bounden obligors have agreed to enter 
at the land office in Galena, the fractions of land upon which is situated the 
town of Albany, for the benefit and in trust for the above named obligees. The 
condition of the above obligation is such that if the above bounden Alfred Slo- 
cumb, Wm. Nevitt, Gilbert Buckingham and Lewis Spurlock, shall use all and 
every lawful endeavor to buy and obtain in their names at the land sale in Galena, 
on Monday, October 21, 1839, the southeast and southwest fractional quarters 
of section 24, township 21 north, range 2 east, and after the said Alfred Slo- 
cumb et al. purchase the said fractions, then they shall make good deeds of 
general warrantee to each of the above persons for their respective lots, ( des- 
cribed in the instrument) all in Albany, the deeds to be made and delivered as 
soon as possible. Now, if the said Alfred Slocumb et al. shall deed all the lots 
as heretofore described to the persons aforesaid, then this obligation to be null 
and void; but if the said A. Slocumb et al. or either of them shall refuse to 
deed as aforesaid after being paid as aforesaid, then this obligation to be in full 
force and virtue. Alfred Slocumb, Wm. Nevitt, Gilbert Buckingham, Lewis 
Spurlock. Dated October 17, 1839." 

Early Votes. 

The following is the ofiicial vote of Whiteside County for county ofl&cers 
and Representatives to the General Assembly, held on the 3d of August, 1840 : 
For County Commissioner, Hosea Jacobs, 462 votes; For Sherifi", John W. Mc- 
Lemore 452 votes; For Coroner, Ivory Colcord, 352, and Brainard Orton,77 votes; 
For Representatives to the General Assembly, Thomas Drummond, 313, Hiram 
W. Thornton, 306, Thompson Campbell, 222, and Thomas Van Valzah, 225- 

At the election held on the 7th of August, 1843, the ofiicial count gave 
Joseph P. Hoge 270, Cyrus Walker 297, and Mathew Chambers 20 votes for 
Congress; Hiram Harmon 320, and Henry Boyer 253, for County Commissioner; 
John Roy 296, and Albert Plympton 254, for County Commissioners' Clerk; 
Robt. L. Wilson 321, and Erastus G. Nichols 236, for Probate Justice ; Wil- 
liam W. Gilbert 429, W. W. Gilbert 107, and Augustine W. Newhall 4, for Re- 
corder ; David Hazard 202, David Brooks 161, and Augustine W. Newhall 128, 
for County Treasurer; Wm. Nevitt 382, G. Buckingham 128, and John C. Pratt 
5, for School Commissioner ; W. S. Wilkinson 336, and James McCoy 220, for 
County Surveyor. 

The following is the vote by precincts in the county, cast at the Presiden- 
tial election, November 9, 1844: For the Whig candidate Lyndon cast 24 votes; 
Fulton 32, Rapids 4, Union 36, Portland 24,' Sterling 55, Albany 82, Round 
Grove 18, Prophetstown 47. Genesee Grove 26; total, 348. Democratic candi- 
date: Lyndon 23, Fulton 18, Rapids 7, Union 45, Portland 32, Sterling 57, 
Albany 30, Round Grove 30, Prophetstown 34, Genesee Grove 17; total, 289. 
Abolition candidate: Lyndon 30, Fulton 2, Union 12, Portland, Sterling and 
Albany 1 each; total, 47. But 684 votes were polled in the county at that 
exciting and memorable contest, while at the last Presidential election a total 



of 6,115 votes were polled, showing the rapid growth of the population of the 
county in thirty-two years. 

At the election for a niemher of the Constitutional Convention, on the 
19th of April, 1847. three candidates, Aaron C. Jackson, Jonathan Haines and 
D. B. Young, were in the field, Jackson receiving 322 votes, Haines, 304 and 
Young 53. 

At the election for Senator and Kepresentative, held August 7, 1848, 
Whiteside gave Capt. H. H. Gear 422 votes, L. P. Sawyer 370, and A. W. Ben- 
ton 63. for Senator; Joseph Crawford 434 votes, Thos. J. Haines 355, and J. 
Baker 63, for Representative. 

At the election for District Judge on the 29th of April, 1851, James 
McCoy received 202 votes, Ira 0. Wilkinson 191, John Wilson 92, and W. W. 
Heaton 89. 


The railroad era for Whiteside County commenced in 1850 with the com- 
pletion of the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad to Rockford. In 1852 the 
road was finished to Freeport, these places being then substituted for Chicago 
as market places. The next departure was when the Dixon branch of the 
Galena & Chicago Union railroad, now the Northwestern, was finished to Dixon, 
which point then became the shipping point and remained so for nearly two 
years. The road was finally finished to Sterling and Morrison, and thence on to 
Fulton, on the Mississippi river, in 1856. The construction of this modern 
channel of commerce and civilization, did away at once and forever with the old 
method of transportation by the ox and horse. The Rockford, Rock Island & 
St. Louis railroad, running through the Rock river valley; the Western Union, 
traversing the western part of the county; the Mendota and Prophetstown 
branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad, traversing the southern 
part of the county, and what is now called the Rock Falls branch of the latter 
road, terminating at Rock Falls, have been built since the year 1856. Upon 
the lines of these different roads are thriving cities and villages, affording a sure 
market for everything the farmer and producer can raise. They need no longer 
undertake long journeys at cost of time and inconvenience, and then get starva- 
tion prices for their loads. But a few hours now, and over good roads at that, 
will bring them to a market where the highest ruling prices are paid. 

Claim Societies and Their Objects. 

During the seasons of 1837, '38, '39, '40 and '41, claim disputes, or "fights" 
as they were called, were of frequent occurrence in this county, and in their 
nature not determinable by any recognized system of civil or criminal jurispru- 
dence, hence claim laws had to be enacted by each settlement. The first meet- 
ing for that purpose was held at the store of Barnett & Mason, in Chatham, 
now Sterling. May 13, 1837, at which a constitution and by-laws were adopted 
for protecting the claims of actual setlers against non-resident claim holders, 
and claim "jumpers." Similar organizations were effected soon afterwards in 
different parts of the county, and as all of them adopted about the sarne con- 
stitution and by-laws as the one at Chatham, we give the preliminary steps 
taken, and the constitution and by-laws adopted at that place as a sample of the 
whole. They are as follows: 

" At a meeting of the settlers of Rock River Rapids and vicinity, held at 
Barnett & Mason's store, to take into consideration the subjectof the protection 
of claims to actual settlers, and to devise means by which the rights of the 
same shall be respected and secured, it was moved and seconded that a commit- 
tee of five be appointed to draft a constitution agreeable to the instructions 


given at this meeting. The following persons were chosen by ballot as said 
committee: Jason Hopkins, John W. Chapman, Wyott Cantrall, Nelson Mason 
and Elijah Worthington. 

Instructions: Ist, This society to be known as the Association of the 
Rapids of Rock River. 2d, Each settler shall be entitled to hold 640 acres of 
prairie, and 120 acres of timber. 3d, A secretary shall be appointed whose 
duty it shall be to record, on application being made by the owner of a claim, 
the description of the claim, which shall be given to said secretary. 4th, The 
book of the records shall be open to the inspection of any one requesting the 
privilege. The secretary shall receive for each claim so recorded the sum of 
twenty-five cents. 

Meeting adjourned until the last Saturday in May at the same place, to 
hear the report of the committee. Meeting met pursuant to adjournment. The 
committee reported the following constitution, which was adopted: 

We, the undersigned, inhabitants residing at and near the upper rapids of 
Rock river, having formed ourselves into a society to be denominated the Rock 
River Rapids Association, which has for its object the defense and protection of 
individual claims upon government land, do adopt and establish the following 
constitution as embracing the laws and regulations by which we pledge our- 
selves to be governed. 

Article 1. Each and every settler who has or shall hereafter become an 
actual settler within the limits of this Association, and who shall have pre- 
viously subscribed his name to the constitution, shall be entitled to hold and 
claim 120 acres of timber and one entire section of prairie. 

Article 2. And it shall be the duty of every settler who has made or shall 
make a claim upon government land, whether the same be more or less than the 
amount above specified, to designate the same by plowing or staking around, 
and if the latter, the stakes shall be permanently placed at least 80 rods apart; 
and, further, the validity of any claim shall not be aflFected by being in detached 
eighties or quarter sections, but on the contrary, the individual who makes his 
claim on separate pieces shall be entitled to the same number of acres as though 
the claim were in one tract. The boundaries of each tract must be definitely 
described: Provided, nevertheless, that where the settler can make his claim 
compactly, or in one body embracing the whole number of acres allowed by the 
constitution, without trespassing upon the claims of others, he is compelled to 
do so without taking advantage of this article of the constitution. 

[Articles 3 to 12 are omitted, as not material here.] 

Article 12. Immediately on the adoption of this constitution a secretary 
shall be elected by ballot, whose duty it shall be to file and record all ac- 
knowledged claims within the limits of this society, and for his services thus 
rendered he shall be paid the sum of twenty-five cents, to be paid by the person 
having such claim recorded; and it is incumbent upon every person who claims 
the protection of this Association to furnish a statement of his claim, contain- 
ing the number of acres of timber, also of prairie not exceeding in amount 640 
acres, to the Secretary within sixty days after the organization of this Society 
and the adoption of this constitution. 

Article 13. If any member of this society encourages any person or per- 
sons to settle upon any claim, unless forfeited according to the constitution, 
he shall be expelled and no longer receive the protection of this Society. 

Adopted May 27, 1837. John D. Barnett, Sec'y." 

Growing out of the enforcement of the claim laws, a great many "claim 
fights'' took place. The claims as a general thing were large, and often when a 


stranger came into the country, and upon looking over the broad prairies selected 
a place that pleased him, would find that his choice was the claim of some 
other part}', but as there was no person living on it, and often no evidence of 
being claimed, he concluded to "jump it/' The next thing would be an order 
from the settler who had made the claim, and had it recorded in the books of 
the Association in whose territory it was, for the jumper to depart from that 
"neck of land" in double quick. Sometimes the order would be obeyed, but it 
frequently occurred that the jumper had made up his mind to stay where he 
had driven his stakes, settler or no settler. Association or no Association. In 
that case he would not have to wait long for the peculiar writs of ejectment 
used by the Association, to be served upon him. He might marshal his friends, 
if he had any, and face the foe, but in nearly every case it was useless, for what 
could one man, or a dozen men, do against the entire force of an Association 
when it came swooping down upon him, or his party, with every conceivable 
kind of weapon from a trusty rifle, to the old fashioned pitch fork? His family, 
horses, cattle, wagons, farm implements, and household goods, were removed 
from the claim, and the cabin taken away and either destroyed, or used for 
some other purpose. Often these fights would partake of the ludicrous as well 
as the terribly real. More than one Bull Run occurred on the prairies of 
Whiteside, the fugitives from which are, like those of the famous Bull Eun of 
the late war, if living, undoubtedly running yet. The jumper would be brave, 
and as he fondly congratulated himself even unto death, in the defence of his 
cabiu and claim, but no sooner did the warlike members of an Association, armed 
to the teeth with flint locks, hay forks, and pot hooks, appear in the tall grass 
than he would fly as though "Auld Sootie" was after him with a summons to 
appear forthwith in the land of fire and brimstone. Others more stubborn would 
make a lusty fight, and when defeated on the field, commence an action of 
trespass in the Circuit Court against all the parties they knew who had been 
engaged in ejecting them, but none were ever tried. At the first term of the 
court held in this county quite a large number of these cases were on the 

These Associations undoubtedly answered their purpose well, and protect- 
ed many a worthy settler from being dispossessed of a claim which he had in 
good faith made, and upon which he meant to build a home for himself and 
family. Their existence terminated in 1839 in some parts of the county, and 
in 1840 and '41 in others. In these years the land was placed in market by 
the government, and sold either at Galena or Dixon. At these sales the proper 
Association would have some one or more of its number on hand, who would 
bid off the claim of each member in his own name, and immediately afterwards 
execute a deed of the same to the claimant. After these sales there was no 
further "jumping," and each settler could plant his vine and fig tree on his own 
undisputed domain, and sit under them when they grew large enough, with none 
to molest or make afraid. 

The Tornado of 1860. 

Whiteside has been visited several times since its settlement by violent 
tornadoes, but with the exception of the one commonly called the "Great Tor- 
nado," which occurred on the evening of Sunday, the 3d of June, 1800, their 
ravages were confined to some particular locality, such as those at Tampico, 
Portland, Garden Plain and Union Grove, descriptions of which will be found 
in the histories of those townships. 

The one on the 3d of June, 1860, swept a path over the whole county from 
Albany to the southeastern line, carrying death and destruction throughout its 


entire course. The storm commenced near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and was described 
at the time by those who saw it, as a gathering of the clouds in separate masses 
with fearful outlines, and their opponent concussion and mingling together in 
one rolling, sweeping mass, with accompanying terrible thunder and lightning, 
more resembling a set battle and charging armies, than spirits of the air. These 
mingling masses of clouds came to the earth in the shape of a whirlwind, cover- 
ing a strip of country about eighty rods wide. It appeared to be hollow in the 
center, of transparent blood-red color, while the two sides were black and thick 
with all conceivable sorts of floating matter which had been torn from its path. 
Before crossing the Mississippi river into Illinois, the most fearful destruc- 
tion took place at Camanche, a village on the river almost opposite Albany. At 
that place ninety dwelling houses, all occupied, besides a large number of stores 
and business houses, with some churches and hotels, were totally destroyed. 
Twenty-nine persons were killed and many badly injured, some of them being 
maimed for life. The destruction of life and property at De Witt, and other 
places in Iowa, was also great. In Camanche alone eight hundred and sixty 
persons were left homeless. As the tornado reached the river at the latter 
place it struck a raft upon which were twenty-four persons, all of whom were 
blown into the river and drowned. 

At Albany, people were preparing to attend the Sunday evening services at 
the different churches, and some had actually started from their homes. Look- 
ing over toward the Iowa side of the river, however, they saw a sight in the air 
which struck terror to their hearts, and caused them to hasten back and attempt 
to close the windows and doors of their houses. In many instances this precau- 
tion against the danger of a fierce wind had not been completed, before the ter- 
rible aerial visitor took possession of the town, and with a remorseless power 
and ferocity demolished the homes of the people, with their business houses, 
churches and schools, and killed five of their number, besides seriously injuring 
many others. Those who witnessed the scene next morning represent it as beg- 
garing all description. The town was literally blown to pieces and scattered in 
every direction, not more than half a dozen houses remaining uninjured, and not 
over fifteen or twenty left standing on their foundations. But one business 
house was left in which business could be done at all. 

Some of the effects of the tornado were very curious. Upon the roofs of 
several buildings the shingles were stripped off in fanciful shapes, leaving upon 
some a single covered spot. Others were entirely unshingled. In some cases 
every clapboard was torn from houses, and the sides of others literally perfora- 
ted with boards, splintered timbers and sharp stakes. The lower stories of 
some were blown out entirely, leaving the upper story upon the ground.. Other 
buildings slid from their foundations and were carried along for several feet. 
One small frame house was lifted from its foundation and carried about a square, 
around another building which was torn to pieces, and let down within six feet 
of it without apparent injury. The bell from the brick church was swept out 
of the belfry and taken near the corner of Union and Main streets, where it was 
landed on the walk uninjured with the exception of a small piece which had 
been knocked from the base of the rim. Heavy brick and stone walls were lev- 
eled to the ground with apparently as much ease as the lightest wooden struc- 
tures. Trees were torn from their roots and denuded of their branches, and in 
some instances literally twisted to pieces. Horses, cattle and hogs were killed 
on the spot, and chickens, geese and turkies either killed, or stripped of their 
feathers, and left as bare as if ready for market. On each side of the path of 
the storm-fiend the evidence of his power was visible in the shape of fragments 
of buildings, lumber, goods from the stores, household furniture, valuable papers, 



books, etc. Many of these were afterwards picked up but were found useless 
for any purpose, save some of the papers and books. 

It is wonderful when we consider the terrible and swift destruction of 
buildings and other property by this tornado at Albany, that so few lives were 
lost, there being, as we have mentioned, only five out of a population of eight 
hundred. The storm gave no time for escape, not even to the cellar, a place to 
which many flee at times of fierce winds. Their buildings were crashing around 
their defenceless heads; timbers, stones, brick, and missiles of a hundred 
descriptions were being hurled along the ground and through the air, and yet 
nearly all of them escaped with their lives. Those killed were Duty Buck, Ed. 
Efner, Mr. Sweet, Mr. Eiley, and one other whose name we have been unable to 
learn. All this destruction of property, injury to person, and death, was the 
work of only a minute or two, and then the destroyer passed on to other parts. 

The news of this direful calamity was soon carried by telegraph and mail to 
all parts of the country, and created the most intense excitement, as well as 
awakening in every heart the deepest feelings of sympathy and commiseration 
for the sufferers. Open hands and warm hearts at once responded to their 
needs, the oflFerings coming up from far and near. These contributions were 
gratefully appreciated by the stricken ones at Albany, the remembrance of which 
remains yet green in the memory of those living. 

The following is a list of those who suffered by the tornado, with the esti- 
mated loss of each, and was prepared and published at the time, and then pro- 
nounced as correct as could possibly be made: 

Win. Slocumb $ 600 

Foundry Soo 

S. B. MTyers 700 

Steam Mill 

Duty Buck 400 

Jos. Miller ijo 

Mr. Bradley Soo 

Wm. Ewingr Soo 

D. McMahan 950 

Mitchell & McMahan 2,500 

Dr. A. T. Hudson 200 

Riley's House 250 

W. A. Chamberlin 3>Soo 

Thos. Brewer 500 

Mrs. Winans 150 

Ed. Efner 1,000 

M. E. Parsonage 500 

Mr. Van Bebber 100 

L. Sweet 500 

Mrs. Crippin 400 

Mrs. Lusk 700 

Mrs. Yopts 100 

Steam Pianino- Mill 2,000 

Chas. Lusk 5,000 

Isaac Crosby 400 

W^alkerOlds 500 

B.S. Q.uick $3,4^S 

Mr. SiAgg 400 

Asa Lang^ford 700 

Crow's Tin Shop 1,000 

Mr. Bothwell 2,000 

E. H. Nevitt 2,000 

W. Y. Wetzell 2,000 

S. Hoskins 600 

R. C. M. Black 400 

John Cook 50 

James Clough 300 

Boice, Ewing- & Co 1,400 

M. E. Church 600 

Presbyterian Church 4,000 

W. AV.Durant 1,100 

Happer, Nevitt & Co 7,000 

Chas. Nevitt (5oo 

C. G. Nevitt 700 

Anson Williams 600 

A, Slocumb 1,190 

G. Buckingham 300 

S.Porter 100 

Ira Short 100 

Jno. Adams 500 

E. G. Boyce 150 

Mrs.Townley 175 

S. Gillett $ 100 

John Q. Adams 300 

Smith Cole 200 

G. Langford 200 

Moses Bishop 150 

Jas Hug-enin 300 

John Slocumb 100 

Cheney Olds 50 

A. Mitchell 100 

Mr. Robinson :ao 

Warren Olds 100 

Henry Pease 500 

Alfred Haines 200 

Mrs. Darrow go 

W.S.Barnes Ooo 

Mcllvaine 70 

Saml. Gilbert 400 

Ezekiel Olds 150 

T. Slaymaker 50 

Cyrus Wilson 1,000 

Thos. Stager 250 

Happer & Mcllvaine i,Soo 

Saml. Happer 600 

J. D. Mcllvaine 600 

D. S. Efner 100 

Stockton & Booth 500 

Total damage to houses, barns, etc., $73,715; to personal property, $10,000; 
to fences, out buildings, etc., $6,000; to vegetables and fruit trees, $4,000. Total 

After leaving Albany the tornado passed through the county in a course a 
little south of east, destroying trees and fences in its way, until it reached the 
house of Mrs. Senior, on the Baird estate, in Garden Plain, the upper story of 
which it severed completely from the rest of the building, and scattered it in a 
thousand fragments. The next house struck was that of K. C. Adams, also in 
Garden Plain, which was lifted bodily from its foundation, and moved a distance 


of some four or five feet, racking it considerably. From there it passed along 
without doing material damage to the line of Mt Pleasant and Lyndon town- 
ships where it played the serious prank of hoisting the large two story frame 
residence of Thomas Smith from its moorings, turning it one-quarter around, 
unroofing it, carrying it a rod from its foundation, and leaving it almost a wreck. 
There were seven persons in the house, but strange to say all escaped unhurt. 
The house of Draper Richmond further on met with a more serious fate. This 
was a frame building of medium size, and could not have been more badly scat- 
tered had a barrel of gunpowder been exploded within its walls. After the storm 
had passed Mrs. Richmond was found about twenty rods from the house so 
badly injured that she died in an hour afterwards. Mr. Richmond was also 
seriously hurt but recovered. George Digby's dwelling a little north of east of 
Richmond's was carried at first south a short distance, then taken north-east 
about fifty rods through a wheat field, when it was lifted high in the air and 
whirled into fragments. An apple tree ten inches in diameter was torn from 
its roots, stripped of its branches, and the body of the tree split into two nearly 
equal parts. The residence of Mr. Digby's father was partially destroyed. 
Further east the storm struck the house of Mr. Dow, removing it west several 
rods, then raising it into the air shattered it to pieces, while the barn which 
stood near by, was taken about the same distance east, and disposed of in 
a similar manner. Neither of the families of these gentlemen sufi'ered much 
injury, the wind storm being content to demolish their habitations. From here 
the tornado proceeded to the tbwnship of Montmorency, leaving only a few 
traces of its passage on the way. The residence of Alonzo Grolder was the first 
one assailed in that township, and although not destroyed, considerable of it 
was badly punished. A great deal of th^ furniture was destroyed, and in the 
kitchen and dining-room nearly all of it. In the dining-room was a large, old 
fashioned mirror, which amid the wreck of the other furniture was found un- 
broken, although carried completely across the room. Some of Mr. Golder's 
family were injured, but not seriously. A little school house near Mr. Golder's 
was literally blown into fragments. On its track eastward from here it turned 
Joel Wood's house entirely around, besides uni-oofing and otherwise damaging 
it. It was left in such a condition that it had to be rebuilt. A. J. Good- 
rich's dwelling was blown entirely to pieces, as were also Mr. Pike's and Capt. 
Doty's. Levi Macomber's house was badly racked. At Mr. Pike's a young 
girl had her leg broken. Capt. Doty's son had his collar bone broken, and 
some of the rest of the family were slightly injured. Without doing further 
damage the tornado passed out of the county, and pursued its eastward way. 

Many of the calamities caused by this terrible visitation never reached the 
public ear. The sufferers, whoever they were, either did not care to have their 
misfortune appear in print, or in the hurry and excitement of gathering facts 
were overlooked by the writers for the public press. Neither has there been, 
nor can there be, a full and ade([uate description written of the frightful 
scenes, the pain, the sorrow, and the loss occasioned by the ferocious storm as 
it sped on its way on that memorable evening. Seventeen years have passed 
since then, but its results remain. It is hoped that Whiteside county may 
never see the like again. 

Swamp Land Matters. 

Whiteside, together with other counties in the State, acquired title to the 
swamp and overflowed lands within its limits by an act of the General Assem- 


bly entitled "an act to dispose of the swamp and overflowed lands, and to pay 
the expense of selecting and surveying the same,'' approved June 22, 1852. 
The act provides that all these lands granted to the State of Illinois by the act 
of Congress entitled "an act to enable the State of Arkansas and other States 
to reclaim the swamp lands within their limits," approved September 28, 1850, 
be conveyed to the counties respectively in which the same may be situated, for 
the purpose of constructing the necessary levees and drains to reclaim them, and 
the balance, if any there be, to be distributed in each county ecjually among the 
townships thereof for the purposes of education, or applied to the construction of 
roads and bridges, or to such other purposes as may be deemed expedient by the 
Courts, County Judge, or Board of Supervisors, as provided in the act. 

The second section of the act provides for the appointment of a Drainage 
Commissioner, and specifically states that the proper authorities shall not dis- 
pose of more of the lands than shall be absolutely necessary to complete the re- 
claiming and draining of the same, and in all cases where any remain unsold 
they should belong to the several townships in the County to be divided equally 
between them, and should constitute a part of the school fund of each township, 
and be disposed of by the School Commissioner of the county for educational 
purposes in the same manner as the sixteenth section in each township is by law, 
provided, however, that any county may apply the remainder to the construction 
of roads and bridges, or other works of internal improvement as may be deemed 

Under this act the Board of Supervisors at their March term in 1855 ap- 
pointed William Pollock, Drainage Commissioner, and ordered a sale of so much 
of the swamp lands as lie north and west of Rock River; all in township 21 
north of range 7 east, south of Rock RiA^er, and all in township 20 north of range 
7 east, to take place on the second Monday of October of that year, the price to 
be $3 per acre for the first quality, $1,50 for the second quality, and 50 cents for 
the third quality. The terms were fixed at twenty-five per cent, cash on all sales, 
the balance to remain on credit as provided in the resolution. The second sale 
took place on the second Monday in March, 1856, and included all the swamp land 
lying south of Rock River, not having been offered at the first sale, and the 
north tier of sections in township 20 north of range 7 east, and the third sale on 
the second Tuesday of October, 1857, which included all the swamp land owned 
by the county then remaining unsold. The largest of these sales was the one 
in March, 1856. The whole number of acres disposed of at these different sales 
was 63,414 and 57-100, and the total amount which came into the posession of the 
county as the proceeds of these sales, $167,243,63, one quarter of which, to-wit, 
$42,560,66 was cash, and the balance, $126,679,97 in notes. Some other sales 
were afterwards made which consisted in part of lands that had to be resold, and 
part of additional lands acquired under the act of Congress of 1854, making the 
whole number of acres sold 70,153 and 26-100, and the entire amount realized 
about $177,000. 

At the December term of the Board of Supervisors, 1858, Dr. W. C. Sny- 
der, of Fulton, was appointed Drainage Commissioner, under whose superinten- 
dence the ditching of the swamp lands was conducted. One hundred and thirty 
miles of these ditches were made at a cost to the county of $88,500. They 
were no sooner constructed than a large portion of this hitherto waste land be- 
gan to be cultivated, and much of it now ranks among the most productive of 
the county. These lands, as near as we have been able to ascertain, are situ-^ 
ated as follows : 



Township Name. 



(iarden Plain 

Newton , 

Erie and Portland. 
Erie and Portland... 


Union Grove 



Mt. Pleasant 

No. acres Town. Range 






Township Name. No. acres Town. Ranjf 

Lyndon & Prophetstown. 



Hume and Lyndon 

Hopkins ". 


Sterling- and Coloma 











Of the money received by Wm. Pollock, Drainage Commissioner, from the 
sales of swamp lands, by order of Board of Supervisors he placed in the hands of 
the School Commissioner $42,489.36. This sum the School Commissioner was 
instructed to loan to residents of the county, at ten per cent, interest, with good 
security. The money was so placed, the county borrowing in September, 1857, 
and January, 1858, $4,328.71 of the amount, giving its bonds therefor, which 
were paid April 23, 1870. 

The first distribution from the funds — arising from the sales of the swamp 
lands — to the several Congressional townships for educational purposes, as pro- 
vided by the acts of Congress, and the General Assembly of the State, was made 
April 1, 1860, by order of the Board of Supervisors at its September session, 
1859. W. S. Wilkinson, County Clerk, Ed. B. Warner, County Treasurer, M. 
R. Kelly, School Commissioner, and W. C. Snyder, Drainage Commissioner, be- 
ing appointed a committee to make the apportionment and distribution. The 
amount distributed was $33,065.36 — $17,081.80 of the amount coming from the 
hands of the School Commissioner, and $15,983.53 from the Drainage Commis- 

The apportionment was as follows: 

Township Name. 


Fulton... .. 

Garden Plain 


Erie and Portland. 
Erie and Portland. 


Union Grove 



Mt. Pleasant 





20 & 21 


2110 16 



1407 00 



1224 00 



974 45 
23S7 00 





1275 00 



1527 4.3 






1300 00 



2022 so 



Township Name. 

Lyndon & Prophetstown 



Hume and Lyndon 




Sterling and Coloma 





$2050 00 


1452 90 


Soi 00 


992 44 


1900 00 


2179 00 


1760 00 




855 00 




W, C. Snyder, Drainage Commissioner, at the September term, 1865, of 
the Board of Supervisors, reported the following apportionment of $14,773.53 
from swamp land funds in his hands: 

Township Name. 



Garden Plain 


Erie and Portland. 
Erie and Portland. 


Union Grove 



Mt. Pleasant 

$225 00 
1610 16 
707 00 
724 00 
120 00 
924 00 

1127 43 
Soo 00 
172 so 




— 1 

20 «.- 21 

^ 1 













Township Name. 

Lyndon & Prophetstown 



Hume and Lyndon 




Sterling and Coloma 

j Montmorency 

I Hahnaman 





452 90 


Soi 00 


292 44 


1300 00 


129 00 


SOO 00 


2039 ^ 


855 00 


724 50 





At the December session, 1869, of the Board of Supervisors, W. S. Wil- 
kinson, and Supervisors W. M. Kilgour and D. S. Efner were appointed in 
behalf of the county to settle with M. R. Kelly — whose term of office as County 
Superintendent of Schools had expired — and apportion the funds in his hands 
to the Congressional townships. This fund was so much of the proceeds of 
swamp land sales as had been turned over to the School Commissioner by Wm. 
Pollock, Drainage Commissioner, less amount distributed April 1, 1860. The 
interest on this fund had been distributed each year as it accumulated, to the 
different townships. The apportionment was made February 1, 1870, and 
amounted to $25,088.05, distributed as follows: 

rownship Name. 



Garden Plain 


Erie and Portland. 
Erie and Portland. 


Union Grove 



Mt. Pleasant 

$6S4 05 
"451 90 
94S OS 
957 49 
1334 63 
1234 27 
1009 22 
loSs 81 
1039 86 
1190 67 
.9.8 85 

Township Name. 

Lyndon & Prophetstown ' 

Prophetstown | 

Tampico i 

Hume and I^yndon | 




Sterling and Coloma i 




S87 87 

S7I 40 

12S2 59 
'353 ^7 
iiiS 79 
3237 32 
826 66 
82 1 89 

At the annual meeting of the Board of Supervisors in September, 1870, a 
committee was appointed consisting of Supervisors Jas. Dinsmoor, D. F. Cole 
and G. L. Hough, to make an apportionment and distribution of the surplus 
swamp land funds in theliands of W. C. Snyder, Drainage Commissioner. The 
committee made the distribution March 1, 1871, to each political township, 
instead of Congressional townships as had been done formerly, and made their 
report at the 3Iarch term of the Board, 1871. 

The last distribution of swamp land funds was made February 6, 1872, by 
a committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The Committee were in- 
structed to make a division to the townships of the funds in the hands of the 
Drainage Commissioner not needed to meet current expenses. They made a 
report of their action at the February term of the Board, 1872. This distribu- 
tion was also made to political tOAvnships. 

The following table shows the two apportionments: 

Apportionment of April ist, 1871. 

Name of Township. 

Albany , 


Garden Plain.. 





Union Grove.. 



Ml. Pleasant.. 










Montmorency. , 
Hahnaman... . 



$ 239000 
2581 20 
2946 33 
2946 33 
2581 20 
294'^ 33 
2946 33 
2946 33 
294'5 33 
294t> 33 
2^6 33 
2946 33 
2946 33 
2946 33 
290 33 

2946 a 

2946 ^3 
2946 33 

Ai)portionment of Feoruary 6th, 1872. 

Name of Township. 



Garden Plain. 





Union Grove . 



Mt. Pleasant.. 

Lyndon. . . . 


Tampico . 





294'i 33il^tt:''l'"ff 

2509 50S Coloma 

2946 '3i iMont.morency. 
2940 33 Hahnaman.... 

$6309584] Total $'9374 '9 

733 87 
792 58 
904 70 
904 70 
792 58 
cp4 70 
904 70 
904 70 
934 70 
904 70 
904 70 
904 70 
904 70 
904 70 
904 70 
904 70 
904 70 
904 70 
904 70 
770 56 


The total amount of these swamp land funds distributed to the townships 
for school purposes, under the five different apportionments, was $155,390.97. 
In addition to this amount was the interest on about $25,000, being the fund 
in the hands of the School Commissioner after his first apportionment, and 
which was distributed annually for about nine years. This will swell the en- 
tire amount which the townships have received to about $175,000.00. 

At the September session of the Board of Supervisors in 1873, it was 
stated that as the county oAvned but one hundred and sixty acres of swamp land, 
there existed no further necessity for the office of Drainage Commissioner, and 
it was, therefore, resolved that such office be declared discontinued. It was 
also ordered that the Drainage Commissioner deliver within thirty days to the 
County Clerk all the papers, books, documents, or other property in his pos- 
session belonging to the county, and relating to swamp land matters. 

The grant of these swamp lands to the county was a munificent one, and the 
proceeds of their sales have proved of incalculable benefit to the townships, not 
only in bringing these lands to a proper condition for cultivation, but in adding 
to their school fund such a large sum for educational purposes. 

Agricultural Societies. 

Whiteside County Agricnltiirdl Society: — The Whitesid^County Agricul- 
tural Society w^as organized at the village of Union Grove on the 26th of 
February, 1856, the following gentlemen being elected its first officers: Eobert 
L. Wilson, President; A. R. Hamilton, Vice-President; Dr. L. S. Pennington, 
Secretary; Luther Dodge, Treasurer. The annual Fairs of the Society were 
held at Morrison until the year 1863, when the grounds were located at Ster- 
ling, where the Fairs have since been held. The grounds are situated on Rock 
river, a little southwest of the city of Sterling, and are admirably adapted for 
the purpose. The officers of the Society for 1876-7 are Samuel J. Baird, Presi- 
dent; M. S. Coe, Vice-President; C. M. Worthington, Secretary, and J. W. 
Stewart, Treasurer. The Executive Committee are Joseph M. Patterson, Ster- 
ling, W. H. Colcord, Genesee, L. E. Rice, Lyndon, G. B. Quigley, Prophetstown, 
George Davidson, Hopkins, Tyler McWhorter, Montmorency, J. C. Paddock, 
Hume, E. Underwood, Portland, J. M. Wallace, Sterling. The Fairs held by 
this Society are unequalled in the amount and variety of the exhibitions, and 
are very largely attended. 

Whiteside County Central Agricultural Society: — This Society was organ- 
ized on the 28th of May, 1872, at Morrison, the objects being to promote all 
the industrial pursuits of the county, and especially the agricultural, horticul- 
tural, floricultural and mechanical interests, and also the fine arts and domestic 
manufactures. The constitution adopted provided that the officers of the 
Society should consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and 
an executive committee of nine members, the latter to serve for three years, 
their terms of service respectively to be so arranged that three members should 
be chosen each year. The first officers elected were James M. Pratt, President; 
A. M. Teller, Vice-President; Frank Clendenin, Secretary; E. G. Topping, 
Treasurei-. The executive committee consisted of Levi Fuller, James Wilson, 
H. F. Kellum, Geo. W. Mackenzie, John F. Demmon, Delos J. Parker, M. M. 
Potter, Joseph H. Marshall, and Lucius H. Pratt. The first Fair was held at 
Morrison on the 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th of September, 1872, and was a suc- 
cess. The grounds are admirably located, being well shaded, and upon the 
bank of Rock creek so that living water can be always at hand. The present 
officers are James M. Pratt, President; Robert E. Logan, Vice-President; 
Edwin J. Congar, Secretary; Chas. Bent, Treasurer. M. M. Potter, of Fenton 


Lafayette Crandall, of Erie, Moses Lathe, of Lyndon, J. F. Demmon,of Clyde, 
D. J. Parker, of Garden Plain, Cephas Hiirless, of Genesee, A. M. Teller, of 
Union Grove, D. F. Cole, of Portland, and P. B. Reynolds, of Prophetstown, 
are the executive committee. The Society is entirely out of debt, and their last 
Fair held on the 4th. 5th, 6th and 7th of September, of this year, was very suc- 

Spring Creek Union Agricultural Society: — This Society was or- 
ganized in the summer of 1875. at Albany, the object being the 
same as the two other Agricultural Associations of the county. Unlike 
the others, however, it is a local society taking in the towns of Albany, Garden 
Plain and Newton, in Whiteside county, and some of the upper towns in Rock 
Island County. Under the constitution as adopted in 1875, the officers are a 
President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Executive Committee of 
eight members, of which the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer 
are ex officio members. The officers of the Society are Daniel Nicewonger, 
President; P. J. Kennedy, Vice President; J. F. Happer, Secretary, and 
Warren Olds, Treasurer. The Executive Committee is composed of Chas. D. 
Parker, James H. Booth, E. H. Nevitt, Charles George, l). J. Parker, Wm. 
Rowland, E. Rf Beckwith, and I. B. Williams. The Fairs are held at Booth's 
Grove, one mile'south of Albany. As a local organization it has been eminently 

Whiteside County Grange. 
Whiteside was among the first counties in the State, or for that matter in 
the Union, to organize subordinate Granges of the Patrons of Husbandry. \\\ 
no county was such interest taken in the Order, and in no county did subordi- 
nate Granges increase more rapidly. Nearly every township had its flourishing 
Grano-e, and several had two or three. In the year 1873, when these subordi- 
nate Granges had reached thirty in number, a County Grange was organized, 
called "The Whiteside County Grange." The requisite constitution and by-laws 
were passed, and stated meetings appointed to be held quarterly. Charles R. 
Rood, of Garden Plain, was elected its first Master, and L. E. Rice, of Lyndon, 
first Secretary. Its present officers are: Master, Robert E. Logan; Secretary, 
E. V. Lapham; Treasurer, Samuel Baird. The meetings are held regularly 
every quarter, either at Morrison, Sterling, or Lyndon. These Grange organiza- 
tions from the National to the Subordinate have been widely influential for good, 
not only to the husbandman and producer, but to the people at large. 

Old Settlers Association. 
As early as January, 1858, several of the first settlers of the county met 
at Wallace Hall, in Sterling, to enjoy a supper, and talk over the times and 
incidents of their pioneer life in Whiteside. The meeting resulted in organiz- 
in"' the Old Settlers' Association. All citizens of the county were entitled to 
membership who were residents prior to 1840. Col. E. Seely had the honor of 
being the first presiding officer. It is related that before the pioneers had half 
finished rehearsing the tales of the olden time, they were compelled to take 
their departure from the hall, so as to give their sons and daughters a chance to 
trip the "light fantastic toe." They had, probably, no objection to being dis- 
posessed by the young folks, had the latter waited until a reasonable time, but 
to be summarily ejected when in the very height of their discourse, was more 
than they had been accustomed to endure. The result was that the meeting of 
1859 was the last one held at Wallace Hall, Sterling, when they accepted 
Deacon Hamilton's offer to occupy his grove at such time as they might deem 


most agreeable to all concerned. Upon consultation, the first Thursday of 
September, 1860, was selected for holding a basket picnic by the Old Settlers of 
Whiteside, and as it passed off so agreeably and pleasantly to all, it was resolved 
to hold an annual picnic thereafter, at the same place. Thousands of people 
now attend these annual gatherings, all being determined to give the fathers 
and mothers of Whiteside that consideration due to those who first opened up the 
soil to cultivation, and reared our hamlets, cities and towns. 

Whiteside County Cdlnlonicm Chib. 
Many of the sons of Auld Scotia made their homes in Whiteside County 
some years ago, being attracted hither by its beauty, and the exceeding richness 
and fertility of its soil. Naturally they sought to become acquainted, and to 
revive in their new location the more important and interesting of the anniver- 
saries, customs and games of their native land. The first meeting looking toward 
the formation of a society to carry out these purposes, was held at the Boynton 
House, in Sterling, on the 24th of January, 1873, that being the one hundred and 
fourteenth anniversary of the birth of the plowman bard, Robert Burns. After 
duly celebrating the event so dear to the heart of every true Scotchman, a vote 
was taken to ascertain whether the Scotchmen settled in Whiteside county were 
ready and willing to organize a Caledonian Club. The sentiment was found to 
be unanimously in favor of such an organization, whereupon a constitution was 
adopted, and twenty-two attached their signatures to the document. 

The meeting for the election of the first officers of the Club was held in 
Morrison, on the 8th of March, 1873, and was organized by choosing John L. 
Brown, of Clyde, chairman, and James Laing, of Fenton, secretary. Upon a 
ballot being taken the following gentlemen were elected officers : Chieftain, 
Robert McNeil, of Coloma; Second Chieftain, James Lister, of Morrison; Third 
Chieftain, James Melville, of Ustick; Fourth Chieftain, James Laing, of Fenton; 
Finance Committee, Alexander Matthew, James Borland, and John Jones; Com- 
mittee on Games, John Smith and John L. Brown. The two first meetings to 
celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns were held in Sterling, and 
the last three in Morrison, and at each the attendance was gratifying, the bonnie 
lasses being largely represented, and the proceedings conducted in that spirit 
and enthusiasm so peculiar to the Scottish nature. At the second meeting at 
Sterling, Chief McNeil in an address stated the objects of the Club to be : 
First, the preservation of the ancient literature and customs of Scotland, and the 
encouragement and practice of her ancient games; Second, the establishment of 
a library and a gymnasium, and the employment of lecturers for the association; 
and Third, to foster charity which in its amount, character and mode of distri- 
bution, will be dependent upon the will of the majority of the association. These 
purposes have been faithfully carried into effect. Commencing with the year 1873 
the Club has held an annual basket picnic immediately after harvest, at which, 
among other pleasing features, the ancient outdoor games of Scotland are prac- 
ticed. These now rank among the most pleasant occasions of the year, and are 
largely attended by people of all nationalities. 

The present officers of the Club are : Chieftain, Robert McNeil; Second 
Chieftain, Alexander Ritchie; Third Chieftain, James Melville; Fourth Chief- 
tain, James Lister; Secretary, Benj. Matthew; Treasurer, Peter Durward; Li- 
brarian, John Calderwood. The library consists of over one hundred volumes, 
many of which are choice Scottish works. It is kept at the store of John Cal- 
derwood, in Morrison, and is open free of charge to the members of the Club 
and their families. Those not belonging to the Club who desire the use of books 
are charged a moderate price for the privilege. 


Whiteside County Bible Society. 

This Society was organized at Lyndon in August, 1847, and was recognized 
by and became auxiliary to the American Bible Society in December of the same 
year. There had been a local organization at Lyndon, and perhaps elsewhere in 
the county, previous to that time, but no central society to combine the efforts 
of the friends of the cause, and to connect them with the parent society. In 
the summer of that year Rev. Geo. Stebbins, then pastor of the Presbyterian 
church at Sterling, was in New York, and chanced to say to Rev. Dr. Prime, 
editor of the New York Ohserver, that there was no Bible Society in Whiteside 
county, and the latter at once proposed to solicit a donation from the American 
Bible Society as a nucleus for an auxiliary. This was done, and a donation 
granted. The books were forwarded to Rev. Mr. Stebbins, and the society soon 
organized with Dr. A. Smith as its first President, Rev. Geo. Stebbins, Secretary, 
and Deacon John Roy, Treasurer. This was the germ, but it proved a vigorous 
one as the subsequent growth has evinced. Few more efficient and prosperous 
societies are to be found, considering its resources, and the extent of territory 

The Lyndon period of this society, embracing some sixteen years, seems to 
have been in a measure lost track of, so far as records are concerned. In 1864 
the headquarters of the society were transfex-red to Morrison, and on the 23d of 
March of that year, its first annual meeting at that city, was held. The annual 
discourse was delivered by Rev. Mr. Webb, and the following officers elected for 
the next year : A. C. Jackson, President; 0. Cowles, Vice President; Dr. W. 
L. Cole, Treasurer; F. C. Woodruff, Secretary, and W. M. Spears and Dr. A. 
Smith, Executive Committee. This meeting is specially noted as being the first 
one held after the removal of the society to its present center, and the first one 
at which full minutes were kept, and some of the incidents are well remember- 
ed by those who were in attendance. 

The total remittances of this auxiliary to the parent society up to the 
present year, have been $15,337,19, or about $500 a year since its organization. 
Of this amount $10,141,57 have been on account of books, and $5,193,62 as do- 
nations. Of the books obtained about $1,000 worth are on hand in the county 
and branch depositories, and about $7,500 worth have been put into circulation 
in the county, making an average of about $300 worth a year. There are about 
twenty branch Bible Societies in the county. 

The obj ects of the society are, to supply thoroughly, and keep supplied, the 
entire population of the county with the bible; to see that not one family lives 
within the boundaries of the county, without the bible, that can possibly be in- 
duced to take one; to see that all the youth and children have at least a testa- 
ment; that all the institutious of correction and charity have the bible; that 
all the hotels be supplied with the bible so far as they wish it, and will aid in 
the work, and that the railroad, steamboat, and depots and waiting rooms be also 
supplied with the bible. It also aims to do its part in supplying the world with 
the word of God. 

The present officers of the society are : James Snyder, President; F. B. 
Hubbard, Secretary, and Dr. S. S. Hall, Treasurer and Depositary. 

Whiteside County Sunday School Association. 
The first meeting to organize a Sunday School Association for the county 
of Whiteside, was held at Morrison on the 1st of December, 1864, Rev. G. T. 
Crissman was called to the chair, and a committee consisting of Revs. J. T. Mason, 
J. W. Cass, J. W. White and Mr. W. F. Peters, appointed to recommend officers 
for permanent organization, and order of the meeting. The committee after- 



wards reported, recommending the following gentlemen for officers : President, 
W. D. Webb; Vice Presidents, Rev. W. A. Lipe, and Rev. J. W. Davidson; 
Secretary, J. R. Ashley; Treasurer, Dr. H. P. Roberts. The report was adop- 
ted. Reports were made by the schools represented at the meeting, when it was 
resolved to hold the meetings semi-annually, and a committee consisting of Revs. 
J. T. Mason, J, W. Cass, W. D. Webb, and Messrs. Thomas A, Gait and J. R, 
Ashley, was appointed a committee of arrangements for the same. In addition 
to the Sunday School friends of the county, there were present at the meeting 
D. L. Moody, whose fame as a revivalist has since become world wide, and Mr. 
Harwood, of Chicago, and W. F. Peters, Sunday School Agent. The presence 
of these gentlemen added much interest to the occasion. 

The County Association is auxiliary to the District Association, and the 
latter to the State Association, the object being to establish a complete and 
harmonious system of effort in behalf of the Sunday Schools throughout the 
vState. The reports made by the representatives of the different schools in the 
county, at each of the meetings since the organization of this Association, show 
that a gratifying progress has been made in Sunday School work, and that to a 
considerable degree this progress is owing to the effect of systematic labor in- 
augurated by the system of Sunday School Associations. 

The last annual meeting of the Association was held at Sterling on the 7th 
and 8th of May, 1877. The following officers were then elected for the ensu- 
ing year: President, D. J. Jenne, of Sterling; Recording Secretary, Payson 
Trask, of Fulton; County Secretary, Dr. H. C. Donaldson, of Morrison; Town- 
.ship Secretaries, David Parkhill, Ustick, Thomas Gulliland, Clyde, S. H. Kin- 
gery. Sterling, James Snyder, Mt. Pleasant, G. F. Goodell, Union Grove, J. M. 
Fay, Fulton, P. J. Kennedy, Garden Plain, E. Olds, Albany, Wm. Mitchell, 
Newton, M. O. Hurless, Fenton, Chas. W. Westervelt, Lyndon, L. E. Matthews, 
Erie, L. E. Tuttle, Coloma, Rev. H. M. Corbett, Portland, Geo. B. Quigley, 
Prophetstown, E. A. Hovey, Tampico, Chas. Toby, Hopkins, A. S. Ferguson, 

Congressional Districts. 

By the act of the General Assembly approved March 1, 1843, establishing 
seven Congressional districts in the State, Whiteside became a part of the 
Sixth district. Previous to this time Whiteside formed a portion of the 
district which included the whole northern part of the State, and was numbered 
the Third Disti-ict. The district of 1843 comprised the counties of Jo Daviess, 
Stephenson, Winnebago, Carroll, Ogle, Lee, Whiteside, Rock Island, Henry, 
Stark, Mercer, Henderson, Warren, Knox, McDonough, and Hancock, in all 
sixteen counties. By the apportionment of 1852, Whiteside was placed in the 
Second Congressional district with Cook, Du Page, Kane, De Kalb, Lee, and 
Rock Island; in 1861 in the Thirteenth district with Jo Daviess, Stephenson, 
Carroll, Ogle, and Lee; and in 1872 in the Fifth district with Jo Daviess, 
Stephenson, Carroll and Ogle. 

The following are the names of Members of Congress who have represented 
the districts to which Whiteside has been attached, with the years when they 
were elected: 

1S36— Wm. L. May. 
iS3S-'40— John T. Stewart. 

1S46— Thos. J . Turner. 
184S— Ed. D. Baker. 

1S50 — Thompson J. Campbell. 
1S53— John Wentworth. 
1S54— Jas. H. Woodworth. 
iS56-"5S— John F. Farnsworth. 
1S60 — Isaac N. Arnold. 


1S69- '70- '72- ' 


-Elihu B. Wnsh- 
-'76 — Horatio C. 

Members State'^Board of Equalization: — 1868, Leander A. Devine; 1872- 
'76, Edward B. Warner. 


Senatorial and Representative Districts. 

Previous to 1841, Whiteside was not included as a distinct county in the 
formation of Senatorial and Representative districts, its present territory having 
belonged at different times to other counties, but by the act of the General 
Assembly, approved February 26 1841, it formed with Rock Island, Henry and 
Lee, a Senatorial district, and with Lee a Representative district. By that act 
12,000 white inhabitants formed the ratio of representation for a Senator, and 
4,000 white inhabitants for a Representative. 

By the act approved February 25, 1847, the ratio of representation was 
increased to 19,000 white inliabitants for a Senator, and 6,500 white inhabit- 
ants for a Representative. Under this apportionment Whiteside, Lee, Rock 
Island, Henry and Mercer formed a Senatorial district, and Whiteside and Lee 
a Representative district. 

Under the Constitution of 1847, in force April 1, 1848, the Senatorial and 
Representative districts began to be numbered, the counties of Whiteside, Jo 
Daviess, Stephenson and Carroll forming a Senatorial district, and numbered 
the 23d, and Whiteside and Lee a Representative district and numbered 
the 44th. 

By the act approved February 27, 1854, the counties of Whiteside, Lee, 
Kane and De Kalb were made to constitute the Fifth Senatorial district, and 
entitled to one Senator, and Whiteside and Lee the Forty-ninth Representative 
district, and entitled to one Representative. 

The act approved January 31, 1861, constituted the counties of Whiteside, 
Lee and Ogle as the 20th Senatorial district, entitled to one Senator, and the 
county of Whiteside as the 48th Representative district, and entitled to one 

Under the Constitution of 1870 the districts in the State are termed 
Senatorial, and -each entitled to one Senator, and three Representatives, the 
minority system obtaining in the election of the latter. The act approved 
March 1, 1872, constituted Whiteside and Carroll as the 11th Senatorial 

The following State Senators and Representatives have represented the 
districts to which Whiteside has been attached: 

Senators:— 1836, Wight; 1840, Col. Buford; 1844, Silas H. Noble; 

1848, Hezekiah H. Gear; 1852, Hugh Wallace; 1854, Augustus Adams; 1858, 
Richard P. Adams; 1862, Daniel Richards; 1866, Daniel J. Pickney; 1870, 
Winfield S. Wilkinson; 1872, Joseph M. Patterson; 1874, Henry A. Mills. 

Rf'prcsentativcs: — 1836, James Craig, J. Kent; 1838, Thomas Drummond; 
1840. Thomas Drummond, Hiram W. Thornton; 1842, Aaron C. Jackson; 1844, 
Winfield S. Wilkinson; 1846, Hugh Wallace; 1848, Joseph Crawford; 1850, Van 
J. Adams; 1852, Joseph Crawford; 1854, Miles S. Henry; 1856, John V. 
Eustace; 1858, Wm. Prothrow; 1860, George Ryan; 1862-'64, Leander Smith; 
1866-'68, James Dinsmoor; 1870, Dean S. Efne'r, Nathan Williams; 1872, Dean 
S. Efner, James Shaw. James Fl. IMcPherran; 1874, Tyler McWhorter, Norman 
D. French, Albert R. McCoy; 187(!, Edward H. Nevitt, James Shaw, James M. 

Members Constitutional Conventions: — The following nanied gentlemen 
have represented Whiteside County in the Constitutional Conventions of 1847, 
1861, and 1869, viz: 1847, Aaron C. Jackson; 1861, Leander Smith; 1869, 
James McCoy. 


List of Public Officers. 

The following is a list of the officers of the County from its organization 
to the present time: 

Clerk County Commissioners' Court: — 1839-'41,Guy Kay; 1841, Theodore 
Winn; 1841-'49, John Roy. 

County C7crA-.— 1849-'53, Norton J. Nichols; 1853-'57, Rufus DeGarmo; 
1857-'69, Winfield S. Wilkinson; 1869-77, Kdwin W. Payne. 

Clerk Circuit Cottr^.-— 1839-'40, Erastus G. Nichols; 1840-'48, Robert L. 

Recorder:— ^9,^9, Augustine W. Newhall; 1839-'48, W. W. Gilbert. • 

Circuit Clerk and Recorder :~\M^~<60, Robert L. Wilson; 1860-'68, Ad- 
dison Farrington; 1868-72, John N. Baird; 1872-76, William P. Squire; 
1876-'80, Addison Farrington. 

Prolate Justice:— 1^^-42, Daniel B. Young; 1842-'49, Robert L. 

County Judge:— IMSS-bl , N. G. Reynolds; 1857-'59, James McCoy; 
1859-60, Charles J. Johnson; 1860-61, W. Anderson; 1861-65, Christopher 
C. Teats; 1865-69, Ed. G. Allen; 1869-77, William Lane. 

. >S'/imJ.— 1839-'40, James C. Woodburn; 1840-'44, J. W. McLemore; 
1844-'46, James A. Sweet; 1846-'48, J. W. McLemore; 1848-'50, L. D. Cran- 
dall; 1850-'52, Perry L. Jeffers; 1852-'54, Charles Wright; 1854-'56, Wm. 
Manahan; 1856-58, R. G. Clendenin; 1858-60, John Dippell; 1860-62, R. G. 
Clendenin; 1862-64, Robert E. Logan; 1864-'66, John Dippell; 1866-68, L. A. 
Lincoln; 1868-78, Edwin A. Worrell. 

Co/wicT.— 1839-44, Ivory Colcord; 1844-46, Gilbert Buckingham; 
1846-48, Clinton G. Taylor; 1848-54, Ivory Colcord; 1854-'56, D. F. Millikan; 
185t6-'58, Daniel Reed; 1858-'60, Wm. L. Coe; 1860-'62, John Eddy; 1862-68, 
Samuel Taylor; 1868-70, Wm. L. Coe; 1870-72, D. B. Seger; 1872-73, John 
Riley; 1873-74, Merill Mead; 1874-76, David E. Dodge; 1876-78, Moses 

7VmsM/-e/v— 1839-41, David Mitchell; 1841-43, Daniel Brooks; 1843-47, 
David Hazard; 1847-'50, Heniy Ustick; 1850-'51, John B. Myers; 1851-"55, 
David Hazard; 1855-'57, Jesse Penrose; 1857-'69, Edward B. Warner; 
1869-77, William H. Thatcher. 

/S'wrwei/or.— 1839-'42, Charles R. Rood; 1842-'47, W. S. Wilkinson; 
1847-'53, Wm. Pollock; 1853-57, W. S. Wilkinson; 1857-63, L. H. Wood- 
worth; 1863-65, Miles T. Woolley; 1865-71, John D. Arey; 1871-77, Silas 

School Commissioner: — 1840-'42, Daniel B. Young; 1842-'45, William 
Nevitt; 1845-'55, Charles S. Deming. 

County Superintendent of Schools: — 1855-'57, Charles S. Deming; 
1857-'69,M. R. Kelly; 1869-73, Michael W.Smith; 1873-77, Orrin M. Crary. 

Statistics, Population, Etc. 

The following tables give the population of the county from 1840 to 1870 
inclusive, as compiled from the Federal census, together with other valuable 
statistics derived from the same source. 

In 1840 the population of the county was only 2,514. 

From the statistics of 1850 we gather the following; 




Total population S>36i 

Males ?. 2,863 

Females 2,49S 

United States born 3,344 

Foreig:n born 43^ 

Persons over 10 who cannot read or write. .. 13 

No. of pupils in public schools i,3^ 

Total educaUonal income $ 3,i47 

No. of farms 4^4 

Xo. of acres improved 35,99^ 

No. of acres unimproved SS,iS4 

Value with improvements and implements. ..$767,552 

No. of horses, .isses and mules ',460 

No. of neat cattle 6,791 

No. of sheep 5,37^ 

No. of swine 3,642 

No. bushels wheat raised 149,661 

No. "bushels rye and oats 7o>654 

No. bushels corn 211,027 

No. bushels barley 265 

No. bushels buckwheat 1,685 

Butter and Cheese, pounds isVj'7 

Hay, tons 8,950 

Flax, pounds 75° 

Tobacco, pounds S^S 

Wool, pounds 14,4 IS 

Value of orchard products 1,035 

Capital invested in manufacturing' 3119,020 

Hands employed 77 

Annual products 114,829 

Produced m families 4,715 

The following table gives the population of the county by townships in 
1860 and 1870: 







Garden Plain 


Hahnaman ... 



Population. Population 
iS6o. iSvo. 












Mt. Pleasant.. 






Union Grove. 


























Total population in 1860, 18,737, of which 15,869 were native born, and 
2,868 foreign born. In 1870 the population amounted to 27,503, of which 
22,913 were native born, and 4,590 foreign born. 

The statistics of 1860 show the following: 

No. of acres improved Land in county 

No. of acres unimproved 

Cash value of larms $ 

No. of horses 

" asses and mules 

" milch cows 

" working- oxen 

" other cattle 

" sheep 

" swine 

Butter, pounds 

Cheese, pounds 

Value estate $ 

" personal 

No. families 









No. bushels wheat.. 


" " oats 

Tobacco, pounds 

Wool, pounds 

Potatoes, bushels 

Barley, bushels 

Buckwheat, bushels 

Orchard products $ 

No. tons of h.ay 

Home made manufactures , $ 

No. of churches 

Value church property $ 




3,3 > 3 

From the statistics of 1870 we gather the following: 

No. of .acres improved land in county 

No. acres unimproved 

Cash value of farms - $i 

Cash value of farm productions 

Orchard products 

Value of home manufactures 

Value of live stock 

No. of horses 

" mules and asses 

" Milch cows 

" working oxen 

'* other cattle 

" sheep 

" swine 

No. church organizations 

No. bu.shcls wheat 















No. bushels rye 

" *• corn 

" " oats - 

" " barley 

" " buckwheat 

" " potatoes 

Tobacco, pounds...'. 

Wool, " 

Butter, " 

Cheese, " 

H.ay, tons 

No. scholars who attend school 

No. of people over 21 who cannot read or 


No. church edifices 

Value church property ; 


!, 162,9.^3 














Public School Affairs. 
We publish the following statistics from the annual report of 0. M. Crary, 



County Superintendent of Schools, for 1876, which will give our readers a cor- 
rect idea of the status of the public schools of the county: 

No. of males under 21 years of age 7.705 

No. of females under 21 years of age 7.271 i4)97<J 

No. of males between the ages of 6 and 21 5>i9S 

No. of females between the ages of 6 and 21 , 4,887 10,085 

No. school districts having five months school, or more 141 

No. school dish-icts having less than five months school i 142 

No. Public Free Schools sustained 143 

No. of months school sustained 1,1675^ 

Average No. months school sustained 7.76 

Whole No. male pupils enrolled 4,475 

Whole No. female pupils enrolled 4,i49 8,624 

No. of male teachers 95 

No . of female teachers 195 290 

No. of months taught by male teachers 509 

No. of months taught by female teachers 999/^ i,SoS>^ 

No. of graded schools 11 

No. of ungraded sc"hools 131 142 

No. of months taught in graded schools 265 

No. of months taught in ungraded schools i.o55>^ i,320>^ 

No. of private schools 2 

No. of teachers in private schools 9 

No. of male pupils in private schools 92 

No. of female pupils in private schools 72 164 

No. of school districts having libraries 22 

No. volumes in school libraries 696 

No. of stone school houses in county 5 

No. of brick school houses in county 13 

No. of frame school houses in county 124 142 

No. of school houses built during the year 3 

No. persons between 12 and 21 unable to read and write 3 

Causes therefor : idiocy i; illness, and neglect of parents, 2. 

Amt. paid to male teachers for the year • • $29,473.66 

Amt. paid to female teachers for the year 37,203.81 $66,677. 47 

Amt. paid for new school houses $7,833-53 

Amt . paid for sites and grounds 1,445.00 

Amt. paid for rent of school houses 5900 

Amt. paid for repairs and improvements 1 1,451 .91 

Amt . paid for school furniture 1)867.93 

Amt. paid for school apparatus 290.30 $12,640.67 

Total expenditures on account of schools for the year ending 

September 30, 1876 $129,482.14 

Estimated value of school property $274,210.00 

Estimated value of school apparatus 5,202.50 

Estimated value of school libraries 1,167.00 $280,579.50 

Principal of township fund $197,780.48 

Amt. of township fund loaned on real estate 140,705.38 

Amt. of township fund loaned on personal security 56,348.41 

Average monthly wages paid male teachers $51 .00 

Average monthly wages paid female teachers 35 '67 




History op Albany Township, and Village — Societies — Biographical. 

Albany Township. 

The present township of Albany first formed a part of Van Buren Precinct, 
remaining so, however, only a short time, when it was set off as a Precinct by 
itself, and included within its boundaries the present townships of Newton and 
Garden Plain. In 1852 it was made a township by the Commissioners appoint- 
ed by the County Commissioners' Court, and is described as fractional township 
twenty-one north of the base line, range two east of the 4th Principal Meridian. 
The township along the river until the Meredocia is reached, is made up princi- 
pally of high bluffs, thence along the Meredocia it is low with frequent sloughs. 
The balance of the town is sufficiently rolling to render cultivation certain at 
every season. The low lands have also been brought to a great degree under 
cultivation. Besides the Mississippi River which flows on the north and north- 
west boundaries, the town is watered by the Meredocia on the west, and Spring 
Creek in the northeast part. Upon the farm of W. S. Booth, situated on the 
latter creek, about one mile south of the Village of Albany, the Spring Creek 
Union Agricultural Society holds its annual fairs. 

The Meredocia which borders the township partly on the west, and flows 
through a portion of it, is of peculiar formation. The marsh or stream extends 
from the Mississippi to Rock river, with a divide of high land in the center. 
This high land divides the stream, the eastern part flowing to Rock river, and 
the western part to the Mississippi river. In times of extreme high water in 
either river the divide is overflowed, the highest stream passing into the other. 
In 1849 at the breaking up of the ice in Rock river a gorge was formed below 
the point where the Meredocia enters that stream, causing the ice and water to 
flow through the Meredocia to the Mississippi with such force as to destroy the 
bridge over the former near its confluence with the latter. Many years ago Capt. 
H. H. Gear and others, of Galena, laid out a town at the Mississippi mouth of 
the Meredocia, intending to cut a canal from river to river, the idea being to 
avoid the rapids at Rock Island, and have steamers take the Rock river up to 
this canal and then follow it back to the Mississippi; but after making a careful 
survey of Rock river from its mouth up, greater obstructions were found there 
than at the rapids, and the project was abandoned. 

At the election held on the 4th of- November, 1851, under the act of the 
General Assembly of the State providing for township organization, Albany 
cast 59 votes in favor of such organization to 19 against it. 

The first town meeting under the new law was held at the public school 
house in the village of Albany, on the 6th day of April, 1852. The name of 
the Moderator does not appear in the record. M. S. Denlinger acted as Clerk 
;pro tern. The following officers were elected : 

Supei-visor, Wm. S. Barnes; Town Clerk, M. S. Denlinger; Justices of the 
Peace, Gilbert Buckingham, Ivy Buck; Constables, Wm. Ewing, Chester Lusk; 
Commissioners of Highways, Alfred Slocumb, A. B. Emmons; Assessor, Chas. 


Boynton; Collector, B. S. Quick; Overseer of Poor, Henry Pease; Overseer of 
Highways, Samuel Happer; Pound Master, James Hugunin. 

The following record made by the Clerk on the 21st of April, 1852, shows 
that the then Commissioners of Highways were not very active in the discharge 
of their duties : 

"At a meeting held by the Commissioners of Highways at the Town Clerk's 
ofl&ce on Wednesday the 21st of April, 1852, they came to no conclusion about 
anything, and in fact done nothing at all." 

The following is a list of town officers from 1852 to 1877 inclusive : 

Siqjervisors— 1852, Wm. S. Barnes; 1853, William Y. Wetzell. Mr. 
Wetzell resigned his office in February, 1854, and Washington Olds was appoint- 
ed to fill the vacancy; 1851:-'55, A. T. Hudson. Mr. Hudson resigned in Jan- 
uary, 1856, and Samuel Happer was appointed to fill the vacancy; 1856-'62, W. 
S. Barnes; 1863-'70, Dean S. Efner; 1871-76, E. H. Nevitt. Mr. Nevitt re- 
signed on the 1st of January, 1877, by reason of being elected Representative 
to the General Assembly, and Ezekiel Olds was appointed to fill the vacancy; 
1877, Peter Ege. 

Toicn CTe?-Z;s :— 1852, M. S. Denlinger; 1853, W. W. Durant; 1854-'56,J. 

B. Myers; 1857, Henry Pease; 1858, Thos. A. Slaymaker; 1859, S. L. Myers; 
1860-'62, Henry Pease; 1863-'67, Charles Slocumb; 1868-77, Henry Pease. 

Justices of the Peace : — 1852, Gilbert Buckingham, Ivy Buck; 1854, Dean 
S. Efner, W. W. Durant; 1856, J. J. Bolls; 1858, Dean S. Efner, Gilbert Buck- 
ingham; 1860,S.H. Slaymaker, J. C. Slocumb; 1863, Gilbert Buckingham; 1864 
Dean S. Efner, Gilbert Buckingham; 1867, Joseph McMahan; 1868, Dean S. 
Efner, Joseph McMahan; 1872, Dean S. Efner, James H. Ege; 1873, Dean S. 
Efner, James H. Ege; 1877, Dean S. Efner, Joseph McMahan. 

Assessor:— 18b2, Chas. Boynton; 1853-77, E. H. Nevitt. Mr. Nevitt re- 
signed soon after his election in 1877, and Wm. H. Fletcher w-as appointed to 
fill the vacancy. 

Collectors :— 1852, B. S. Quick; 1853, C. G. Nevitt; 1854-'56, A. B. Em- 
mons; 1857-'58, B. S. Quick; 1859, David Wray; 1860-'61, C. Knapp; 1862, 
Ezekiel Olds; 1863, Wm. A. Chamberlain; 1864-'65, C. G. Nevitt; 1866, W. D. 
Haslet; 1867, C. G. Nevitt; 1868, C. Knapp: 1869, Chas. Slocumb; 1870-71, 

C. Knapp; 1872, C. G. Slocumb; 1873-75, Ezekiel Olds; 1876-77, W. D. Haslet. 

The following record of an election held at the house of Wm. Nevitt in the 
town of Albany, Precinct of Albany, on the 5tli day of August, 1844, we were 
premitted to copy from the original record now in the possession of Hon. E. H. 
Nevitt : 

For Representative in Congress : — Martin P. Sweet 68 votes; Joseph P. 
Hoge 22; John Cross 1. 

For State Representative : — Oliver Everett 67 votes; Winfield S. Wilkin- 



For Sheriff :— James A. Sweet 63 votes; James W. Noble 22; Daniel P. 
Millikan 1. 

For Coroner : — Thomas Vennum 51 votes; Gilbert Buckingham 30. 

For County Commissioner : — Bacchus Besse 68 votes; Ebenezer Seeley 
17 votes. 

For Constable: — Wm. Ewing 34 votes; John S. Lamb 32. 

Samuel Slocumb, S. M. Kilgour and Ivy Buck were judges of election, and 
Stephen B. Slocumb and E. H. Nevitt, clerks. 

The Precinct of Albany then comprised the present townships of Albany 
Garden Plain and Newton. The elections were always held at the village of 
Albany, and were considered the most exciting days of the year. It will be seen 


that the Whigs were considerably in the majority in Albany Precinct at that 

The assessment of Albany Precinct for the year 1839, the Precinct then in- 
cluding the present townships of Albany, Garden Plain and Newton, made by 
Lewis Spurlock, Assessor, the original of which is on file in the County Clerk's 
ofiice, shows fifty-one persons assessed. The property assessed was only person- 
al, and consisted in the aggregate of 38 horses, valued at $2,025; 157 cows and 
oxen, valued at $2,995; 390 hogs, valued at $1,201 ; 8 sheep, valued at $!«; val- 
uation of wagons, $928; of household goods, $1,695; of mechanical tools, $265, 
and of clocks and watches, $259. Total assessed valuation of all personal. prop- 
erty, $9,384. 

Albany township contains about 2,000 acres of improved lands, and about 
4,000 of unimproved. From the Assessor's book for 1877 the number of horses 
in the township is put down at 213; number of cattle, 488; of mules and asses, 
3; of sheep, 75; of hogs, 1937; carriages and wagons, 92; sewing and knitting 
machines, 90; piano fortes, 11; melodeons and organs, 29. Total value of lands, 
lots and personal property $155,321 ; value of railroad property, $9,529. Total as- 
sessed value of all property in 1877, $164,850. 

The population of the township outside of the village of Albany in 1870, 
as appears by the census reports of that year, was 199, of which 147 were of 
native birth, and 52 of foreign birth. The estimated population is now 350. 

Village of Albany. 

The earliest settlers in what is now known as the village of Albany were 

Mitchell and'Edward Corbin, brothers-in-law, who came in 1835 from the 

State of Ohio. Mr. Mitchell made claim to what is now known as Upper xilbany, 
and Corbin to Lower Albany. During that year the former built ft small cabin 
on a mound still to be seen in the present lumber yard of Hon. B. H. Nevitt, 
and the latter put up a tent around a tree at the edge of the bluflf near the cor- 
ner of Main and Maple Streets. The tree, being a large one, afforded consider- 
able protection to his improvised dwelling, and gave rise to the report, which is 
still in circulation, that he lived in a tree. It appears that neither of these 
gentlemen had any idea of becoming permanent settlers, and only made their 
claims for speculative purposes, for no sooner did other parties come in with 
the hona fide intention of making their homes in the town then they willingly 
sold their interest in the lands, and hied to other parts. There was a great deal 
of that kind of business done in Illinois and other Western States and Territo- 
ries at that day, many parties following it as their only occupation. Their method 
would be to find out first by exploration some locality which offered natural ad- 
vantages either for the location of a village or city like that at Albany, or by 
reason of the fertility of the soil a home for the farmer and producer, and then 
cause these advantages to be spread abroad as far as possible. They were usual- 
ly shrewd men, and could spot an advantageous position as soon as their eyes fell 
upon it. Although simply speculators, considerable credit is due them for 
opening up to settlement many a splendid commercial position at an early date 
which otherwise might not have been noticed, or if noticed, not until at a much 
later period and when other and inferior localities had been selected and were 
well in their growth. 

In the spring of 1836, Wm. Nevitt, father of Hon. E. H. Nevitt, and 
Willis C. Osborne, the former from Knox County, and the latter from Fulton 
County, came up and purchased the claim from Mitchell. About the same time 
Charles R. Rood came from Washington County, N. Y., and Erastus and Isaac 
C. Allen from Plattsburgli, Essex County, N. Y., and purchased the claim from 


Corbin. None of the land had been sold by the Grovernnient, the entry not 
taking place until October, 1839. Tn that month Messrs. Nevitt, Rood and 
Allen went to Galena, made an entry and purchased the land covered by these 
claims, for themselves and others, Mr. Nevitt purchasing what is now known as 
Upper Albany, and Mes.'Jrs. Rood and Allen, Lower Albany. The deeds for 
Upper Albany were made out to Wm. Nevitt, Lewis Spurlock, Alfred Slocumb, 
and Gilbert Buckingham, making them the proprietors. Chas. R. Rood, S. M. 
Kilgour, Randolph C. Niblack. Isaac C. Allen, P. B. Vannest, Oliver McMahan, 
Erastus Allen, Samuel Mitchell, David Mitchell, Alfred Bergen, Chester Lusk, 
and Samuel Searle, became the proprietors of Lower Albany. 

It was contemplated by the proprietors of the land now covered by Upper 
Albany to call that part of the place Van Buren, and it was known by that name 
for some time, while the proprietors of the lower part determined to call their 
portion simply Albany. It was soon, however, discovered that two municipal 
corporations in such close contiguity would prove unnecessary, as well as annoy- 
ing, and finally under cover of some dispute about boundary lines, the matter 
was amicably compromised, and the whole town called Albany. _ The two towns 
were first platted in 1836. 

In the month of December, 1839, the town or village was surveyed for the 
proprietors by C. R. Rood, County Surveyor, and the plat recorded in the office 
of the Recorder of Whiteside County on the 4th day of March, 1840. In the 
plat the village is described as situated and laid out on the east side of the Mis- 
sissippi river on a part of sections No's 24, 25 and 26, in township 21 north, 
range 2 east of the 4th principal meridian. The village is beautifully situated, 
the ground rising from the river at an angle of some twenty to thirty degrees 
until it reaches- the height of the surrounding country. Some of the finest 
building sites on the Upper Mississippi can be found along and upon these 
bluffs, the view from them, especially from some in the lower part of the town, 
commanding a long stretch of the noble river, the village of Camanche nearly 
opposite, the cities of Fulton, Lyons and Clinton above, besides extended por- 
tions of bluff and prairie in the two States of Illinois and Iowa. The citizens 
in many instances have taken advantage of these fine sites and built upon them. 
The part of the town along the river bank and at the commencement of the 
bluffs is admirably adapted for business purposes. The streets of the village 
are broad and regularly laid out. Of the original proprietors of the village the 
following are still living: Randolph C. Niblack, residing on his old homestead 
in town, C. R. Rood and P. B. Vannest, in Garden Plain, Oliver McMahan, in 
Lyons, Iowa, and Samuel Mitchell, in Davenport, Iowa. 

Log dwellings were put up in Upper Albany in the spring and summer of 
1837 by Alfred Slocumb and Gilbert Buckingham. These were the first dwel- 
lings built in that part of the town, with the exception of the cabin of Mr. 
Mitchell mentioned in a preceding page. In the summer of 1838 Uriah Cook 
erected the first frame building. In Lower Albany Randolph C. Niblack, Sam- 
uel Searle, Isaac C. and Erastus Allen, Samuel Mitchell, T. Wilcoxson, Chester 
Lusk, and Oliver McMahan put up the first frame buildings in the spring and 
summer of 1837. The one built by McMahan was used as a hotel, thus mak- 
ing it the first hotel in xVlbany. The first brick building in the town was put 
up for a dwelling by Dr. W. II. Efner, father of Hon. D. S. Efner, in the sum- 
mer of 1840. It is still standing on the bluff, on Main street, adjoining the 
Methodist church, and is owned by Mrs. W. S. Barnes, and occupied by Mr. J. 
AV. Dinneen.. Oliver McMahan followed the same year with the second brick 
building. This was built on "Water street and faced the river, and is still stand- 


ing. Mr. McMahan used it first for a dwelling and afterwards for a bank. It 
is now unoccupied. 

Ivy Buck opened the first grocery store in the fall of 1837, and a firm by 
the name of Cox & Campton the second early in 1838. The store of Cox & 
Campton stood on the river bank near where the stone house now stands, and 
that of Mr. Buck on the bluff, back of the present W. U. R. R. depot. In 1840 
Mcllvaine & Happer opened the first dry goods and general merchandise store 
in a building near the river, now known as the old Fuller Hotel site. After 
that year stores of different kinds followed with considerable rapidity. Cox & ^ 
Campton remained in the store for about a year. Mr. Buck continued in busi- ' 
ness also about a year. Mcllvaine & Happer continued in the mercantile line 
under the same firm name until 1854, when William Y. Wetzell, now of Fulton, 
became a partner, and the name was changed to Mcllvaine, Happer Si, Co. Mr. 
Wetzell withdrew in 1854, leaving the firm as it originally started, and under 
that name it continued until the firm was dissolved. Mr. Happer is still in 
business in partnership with his son, Joseph F. Happer, in the brick store cor- 
ner of Main and Union streets. Mr. Mcllvaine is now a resident of Chicago. 
Chas. S. Dorsey built the first saw mill in the fall of 1837 and early part 
of 1838, actually commencing to saw in the former year. He came from 
Tazewell County in this State. The mill stood on the river bank in the lower 
end of the town, and was run by steam. David Mitchell, Mr. Hurd and others 
had an interest in the mill. It ran for about four years, and then burned down. 
A great deal of lumber was sawed at this mill for Capt. Holt, of Rock Island, 
who was extensively engaged then in building barges for use on the Mississippi 
river and its tributaries. A chair manufactory was started in connection with 
this mill shortly after it commenced operation, by Alvord & Buck, but was 
burned with the mill, and the proprietors did not afterwards resume business. 
William Clark put up the next steam saw mill, a small rotary one, on the 
river bank in Spurlock & Garrett's addition, in 1851. He ran it about a year 
when he died, and it was torn down. 

In 1853 Walker, Happer & Co., built a steam saw mill on the river in 
Upper Albany near where the stone house now stands. This mill was built in 
the modern style, having planing and lath machinery attached. The Co. was 
composed of E. H. Nevitt and John D. Mcllvaine. In 1855 Walker sold his 
interest to the other members of the firm, and the firm name was changed to 
Happer, Nevitt & Co. The new firm ran the mill until 1858, when operations 
ceased. The mill was destroyed by the tornado of June 3, 1860, and was not 

A part of the present mill was built by Boice, Ewing & Co. in 1861. This 
Company ran the mill until 1864, when it was sold to Langford & Hall, now 
extensive mill owners and lumber dealers at Fulton. In 1866 David Heffel- 
bower bought an interest and the firm name was changed to Heffelbower, Lang- 
ford & Co. In 1872 Mr. Heffelbower and Wm. McBride purchased the entire 
interest in the mill and its surroundings, and the firm became Heffelbower & 
McBride. The latter gentlemen are its present owners. New and important 
additions to the building,- machineiy and yard have been added by the enter- 
prising proprietors from time to time as the occasion demanded, until now the 
mill ranks among the first on the river. 

As near as can be now ascertained the following persons were the settlers 
in Van Buren and Albany, as the places were then called in 1837: Chas. R. 
Rood, Erastus Allen and family, Isaac C. Allen, Randolph C. Niblack, Samuel 
Searle, Chester Lusk and family, Alfred Bergen, Peter B. Vannest, Gregg 
McMahan, Oliver McMahan, Jonathan Davis, Samuel Mitchell, Thomson Wil- 



coxson and family, Ivy Buck and family, Duty Buck and family, and Jeremiah 
Rice, in Albany; and Wm. Nevitt and family, Gilbert Buckingham and family, 
Stephen B. Slocumb, Thomas Finch, John Slocumb and family, and Uriah 
Cook, in Yan Burcn. Of these, Chas. R. Rood, Wm. Nevitt, and Stephen B. 
Slocumb properly came in 1836, but are classed as settlers of 1837. 

Those who came in 1838 were: Cheney Olds and family. Dr. Bernheisel 
and family, David Mitchell, Isaiah Marshall, and Edward Ewers, in Lower 
Albany, and Granville Reid, Robert Kennedy, Daniel Bliss, Lewis Spurlock, 
Amos Nichols, John Nichols, Bennett Spurlock, and Geo. Garrett, in Upper 

In 1839 came Benj. S. Quick, W. S. Barnes and family, Dr. John Clark 
and family, and James Hewlett and family, in Lower Albany, and Columbus C. 
Alvord in Upper Albany. This year was known as the " sick year," and few 
parties could be induced to settle anywhere along the Mississippi. 

The first white child born in Albany was Josephine Davis, daughter of 
Jonathan and Phoebe Davis. She was born May 18, 1838. 

The first marriage was that of Randolph C. Niblack to Miss Amy Buck, on 
the 11th of February, 1838. 

The first death was that of Katie Allen, a child of Erastus Allen, aged 
about eighteen months. She died in the winter of 1838, and was buried on her 
father's premises. Following this was the death of Elijah H. Knowlton, who 
died in March, 1838. He was the first one buried in the cemetery where so 
many of Albany's citizens now sleep. His age was about thirty. 

The first minister was the Rev. Mr. Bouton, a Presbyterian clergyman, 
who settled in the town in the spring of 1840. He was not called to Albany 
as a stated pastor, but preached whenever he was requested and in such build- 
ings as could be obtained for religious services, there being no church in the 
town at that day. A donation of some lots was made to him by the proprie- 
tors of Lower Albany, but he did not build on them, and afterwards occupied a 
farm a little out of the town. 

The first physician Avas Dr. Bernheisel, who came with his wife in the 
spring of 1838. The Doctor is represented to have been a somewhat peculiar 
man, and as his wife, who possessed considerable beauty and spirit, attracted 
considerable attention from the gay bachelors of the town, he became unaccount- 
ably jealous of her, and after remaining about a year carried her oflf to Utah 
and joined the Mormons. To reward him for this heroic rescue of his wife 
from the wiles of the bachelors of Albany, the Latter Day Saints elected him 
their first delegate to the Congress of the United States. It is now said that 
some of these erst while bachelors, married men to-day, would like to have 
young gentlemen smile upon their wives so they could carry them to some Ter- 
ritory like Dr. Bernheisel, and go to Congress. 

The first white women who settled in Albany were Mrs. Thomas Finch, 
Mrs. Stephen B. Slocumb, Mrs. Erastus Allen, and Mrs. Chester Lusk, all of 
whom came in 1837. 

The first regular ferry between Albany and Camanche was run by David 
and Samuel Mitchell under a license granted theiy for that purpose by the 
County Commissioners, bearing date September 8, 1840. Their first boat was 
propelled by horse power, and this motive power was continued until 1850 when 
a steam ferry boat was purchased of a Mr. Gear, of Galena. One improvement 
called for another, and after running the Galena boat for some time, the 
Messrs. Mitchell had a larger and more commodious boat built for themselves. 
Not long after this new boat was put on, David Mitchell sold his interest in the 
ferry to Samuel. Still later, a Mr. Clayborne purchased an interest from 


Samuel, and the two ran the ferry until the great tornado in 1860, when the 
boat was destroyed. Since that time a skiff only has been used. The ferry in 
its palmy days was extensively patronized, a large number then seeking it as 
their point of crossing over the Mississippi on their way to Iowa, and States 
and Territories farther West. It was also largely used for transporting mer- 
chandise and produce over the river for points both east and west. Had the 
railroad been built, for which a charter was granted by the General Assembly at 
its session in 1851, the ferry would undoubtedly have given way in a short 
time thereafter to a bridge over the river between Albany and Camanche. A 
railroad would then have been constructed from the latter place to a point on 
the Missouri river, running through the heart of Iowa as the Chicago & North- 
western road now does. We are assured that such was the design of many of 
the enterprising business men of that day. But by the failure to build the 
railroad to Albany, the bridge project was abandoned. 

The sickly season of 1839 retarded emigration to, and business in Albany, 
but in 1840 everything began to revive, and thenceforward for a number of 
years it was one of the most active business towns in this section of the country. 
The stage route from Rock Island to Galena, and the one afterwards from 
Chicago to Albany, were largely patronized and made regular runs, and the 
river steamers brought their full quota of freight and passengers. Even what 
were jocosely denominated "jerk water" lines of stages were doing a good 
business. The winding of the stage horn on the arrival of the lumbering 
vehicle into town, was sure to attract a large number to its stopping place, as 
it not only always brought a full complement of passengers, but also the mails. 
At this time, too, farmers from a long distance brought their grain and produce 
into town, and carried lumber home for putting up their buildings. Many of 
these came from as far east as Genesee Grove. ' 

The opening of Frink & Walker's line of stages from Chicago to Albany 
was one of the eras of the town. Before that time, this line ran by land to 
Galena, and from thence to Albany by water. The proprietors, however, soon 
saw that a direct line from the lakes to the Mississippi would be advantagous, 
and in 1844 put their coaches on this route. It was the great influx of passen- 
gers by this line which induced Mr. W. S. Barnes to open his large building as a 
hotel for the accommodation of the public. Very soon the Eagle Hotel became 
known far and wide as one of the best hotels on the Mississippi river, and its 
landlord one of the most courteous and genial of hosts. That reputation it has 
kept up to the present day. The Washington Hotel, and the National Hotel, 
were also first class hotels, and had a deservingly large patronage. 

The passage of the act by the General Assembly of Illinois at its session 
in 1851, granting a charter for the construction of a railroad from Beloit, 
Wisconsin, to Rock Island, was hailed by the people of Albany as a project 
which would open up to them quick and easy communication with the lakes, 
and thence with eastern ports. Its construction would also demand the build- 
ing of a road from Camanche, directly opposite, through Iowa to the far West, 
and of course the erection of a bridge over the river between the two points. 
The general route of this road was to be in the Rock River Valley, running 
from Beloit through Rockford, Byron, Dixon and Sterling to Albany, and then 
from Albany down the river to Rock Island. A road from Beloit to Chicago 
was already in operation. A meeting of the friends of the Rockford & Rock 
Island road was held in Sterling in the month of February, 1852, and by act of 
this meeting the route was divided into four sections, the first to extend from 
Beloit to Rockford, the second from Rockford to Dixon, the third from Dixon 
to Albany, and the fourth from Albany to Rock Island. The following resolu- 


tion was also adopted: "That out of the capital stock first subscribed, a sufficient 
amount should be immediately applied for completing the third section of said 
road." In compliance with the resolution that section was put under contract 
to Henry Doolittle, of Dayton, Ohio, on the 16th of February, 1853. By some 
means the books of subscription to the capital stock were not opened in time to 
ensure the commencement of the work, before the Mississippi & Rock River 
Junction Railroad Company, a rival organization, had so far got along with 
their operations as to commence building their road to Fulton. This put an 
end to the construction of the road to Albany, as the Galena & Chicago R. R. 
Company had became identified with the M. & R. R. J. road, and the combina- 
tion ensured a direct road from Chicago to Fulton on the Mississippi river. A 
rival line, it was seen, could not be made to pay. Could stock have been taken 
at the Sterling meeting when all the villages along the line of the contemplated 
road from Beloit to Albany were deeply interested in the enterprise, and 
anxious that it should be pushed forward with the greatest rapidity, it is not at 
all unlikely that Albany and Camanche would have been at this time, large, 
thriving towns, with a bridge connecting them, over which would have rolled 
heavy freight and passenger cars, the former ladened with the richest products 
of the Orient and the Occident. Had this been the case it is easy to conjecture 
what the condition of the cities at the Narrows would have been to-day. 
Another road was also in contemplation at, or about that time, which was to 
have been called the Camanche, Albany and Mendota Railroad. This project 
had not been pushed to any great extent before it was abandoned, but it is safe 
to say, that if the Rockford & Rock Island road had been completed, it would 
have been built sooner or later thereafter. 

The construction of the Western Union Railroad, however, affords railroad 
facilities for Albany, but it being a north and south road does not meet the 
requirements demanded, as the great lines of communication and transportation 
run east and west. The first construction train on the Western Union road 
came into the limits of Albany about the middle of November, 1865, on ties 
laid down temporarily. About a month later the road was completed so far 
that passenger trains came into town, and regular passenger and freight trains 
have been running since. 

The people of Albany have not been without their wars and rumors of 
wars. A big fight came very near taking place on Beaver Island directly 
opposite the town in the winter of 1842 and '43. Albany had what was called 
a town claim on the Island, from which the inhabitants got a great deal of wood, 
to the cutting and carrying away of which the people of Clinton County, Iowa, 
finally strenuously objected, alleging that all the Island with the timber 
growing thereon belonged to their county. Finally to prevent further depre- 
dations by the people of Albany, Deputy Sheriff Aiken, of Clinton County, came 
to the Island one day during the above winter with a strong posse of men, fully 
armed, determined to drive away the Albany wood choppers, and to take such 
full and complete possession of the premises as would prevent their trespassing 
again in the future. Word was immediately sent to Albany of this action on 
the part of the Clinton County authorities, and it had no sooner got to the ears 
of the people, than they began to gather for the purpose of devising means to 
force the Clinton army back to their headquarters in Iowa, and "hold the fort," 
or in other words their claim, at all hazards. Soon forty men or more had 
banded together, armed with rifles, muskets, pistols, swords, pitchforks and 
other deadly implements, and in a few minutes landed on the Island. The 
bravest marched boldly up to a big fire which had been built by the Clintoniana 
previous to their coming, and on one side of which the latter had taken position. 


The others, and the number was not inconsiderable, took to the brush, preferring 
to act as scouts rather than face a fusilade from their enemies. Orders were 
given in tones which reverberated far up and down the river for these scouts to 
join the main army, but at this juncture a pistol was fired, or was accidentally 
discharged, and neither orders, threats or coaxing could induce the scouts to 
believe that their method of fighting was not the most efi'ective. What the 
result would have been it is hard at this late day to determine, had not flags of 
truce been thrown out on each side, and the commanding officers of the two 
armies delegated to consult over the situation of affairs, and patch up a com- 
promise if possible. Long and vehement were the arguments on both sides, 
but finally as night began to approach a compromise was effected by making a 
'division of the timber, Albany to get 400 acres as its share. This was no sooner 
agreed to and hands shaken over it, than the scouts came out of their covert 
with the air and mein of veterans, and in lofty words claimed that their superior 
mode of fighting had driven the Clintonians to the wall and made them yield the 
point, and the survivors to this day recount to admiring listeners the brave 
deeds performed by them on that winter day in the Beaver Island brush. 
Albany did no more fighting after that until the war of the rebellion called her 
sons forth to fight for their countiy, and it is due to them to say that braver 
men could not be found in the Union Army. 

On Sunday evening, June 3, 1860, one of the most destructive tornadoes 
that ever swept through the West visited the village of Albany, laying a large 
part of the place in ruins, causing the death of several of its citizens, and 
seriously injuring many others. The storm came from the Northwest, and after 
doing terrible execution in Iowa, and particularly in the village of Camanche, 
crossed the river, almost devastating Albany, as we have stated, and then pur- 
sued its way east through the county. A full description of its terrible work 
will be found in the general local history of this volume. 

The following is as nearly an accurate list of the business men, and houses, 
prior to 1850, as can be obtained: James Hewlett, hardware and harness, about 
1842; B. S. Quick, wagons and buggies; Pease & Wetzell, dry goods and 
groceries; Delmar & Stevens, dry goods and groceries; Hoyt, Faxon & Durfee, 
harness; J. J. Bolls, boots and shoes; Durant & Haines, dry goods and grocer- 
ies; 0. McMahan, Albany Bank; A. B. & J. B. Emmons, blacksmith and wagon 
shop; Mcllvaine & Happer, dry goods "and groceries; Washington Olds, notions; 
Vannest & Stagg, blacksmiths; Charles Boynton, tin shop; W. S. Barnes, dry 
goods and groceries; John A. Langston, saddle and harness maker. 

The population of the village of Albany is now estimated at 500, 

A Post office was established at Van Buren, now Upper Albany, in the 
winter of 1837 and '38, and Willis C. Osborne appointed Postmaster. In 1839 
the name of the office was changed to Albany, and Gilbert Buckingham appoint- 
ed Postmaster. In 1843 he was succeeded by Samuel Happer, but was reap- 
pointed in 1846, and continued in the position two years. From 1848 to 1851, 
Wm. Y. Wetzell was Postmastei-, and from the latter year until 1854, Wm. S. 
Barnes held the place. In 1854 Mr. Buckingham was again appointed, and 
held the office until 1857, when Andrew B. Emmons secured the position, the 
latter retaining the place until 1860 when he resigned, and was succeeded by 
Cornelius Knapp. In 1863 W. W. Durant was appointed, and has held the 
position to the present time. 

In the spring of 1854 a newspaper called the Herald was started in Albany, 
by Mr. McAuliffe, who ran it for a few weeks, and then gave the enterprise up. 
In July following Mr. Chas. Boynton revived it, and issued the first number on 
the 24th of that month. Mr. Boynton had his own press, material and office 


in the village. The size of the Herald was 16 by 22, and its motto "Knowledge 
is, in every country, the surest basis of public happiness." Its miscellaneous 
reading matter was excellent, and local news as full as was given at that time 
by weekly newspapers in the smaller towns. The advertising patronage was 
much better proportionately than is given now to papers of considerably larger 
size and circulation in such towns. Mr. Boynton, however, only continued the 
publication of the Herald in Albany until December, 1854, and then moved his 
office to Sterling, and commenced the publication of the Sterling Times. The 
Herald gives the information that in 1854 Albany had a population of about 
1,000 inhabitants, with four forwarding and commission houses, six dry goods, 
grocery and produce stores, one clothing store, two drug stores, one stove and 
tinware store, one furniture store, one harness shop, two large steam saw mills 
with planing and bedstead machinery, one sash, door and blind factory, and one 
wagon and general blacksmith shop. The advertisers in the Herald were Mcll- 
vaine, Happer & Co., grocers, general merchants and produce dealers; Pease & 
Durant, dry goods, groceries, clothing, boots and shoes, and produce; Durant & 
Haines, groceries, dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes; Dennis & Lincoln, pro- 
duce and general merchandise; Prothrow & Bolls, dry goods, groceries, cloth- 
ing, boots and shoes; Washington Olds, dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes, 
hardware, drugs and medicines; Kroh & Gordon, stove dealers, and tin and cop- 
per workers; W. A. Chamberlain, drugs and medicines; Buck, Olds & Co., sash, 
blind and door manufactory; Quick & Gilbert, wagon makers and blacksmiths; 
J. M. Adams, saddle, harness and trunk maker; Walker, Happer & Co., lum- 
ber, lath and shingles; Stagg & King, general blacksmiths; Walker Olds, 
lime; Myers & Slaymaker, furniture and chairs; McMahan, Durant & Co., 
lumber yard; Sears & Barnard, lumber yard; G. Harris, clothing; JI. C. Hullin- 
ger, house and sign painting; Hudson & Willey, physicians; Harris & Somer- 
field, clothing, dry goods, hats and caps; G. G. Dennis, dry goods, carpets and 
clothing; Boice, Ewing & Co., lumber; E. H. Nevitt, insurance; W. D. Smith, 
watchmaker; W. S. Barnes, Eagle Hotel; Alfred Slocumb, Washington Hotel; 
Bolls & Myers, dry goods, groceries and clothing; Geo. A. Richmond, National 
Hotel. Tho removal of the Herald to Sterling ended the publication of news- 
paper^ in Albany. 


Congregational Church: — The organization of the Congregational Church 
and Society of x\lbany, took place on the 13th day of February, 1842. The 
meeting was held by members who had withdrawn from the First Presbyterian 
church, together with some others. Rev. Mr. Hazard acted as Moderator at the 
meeting, and Mr. Erastus Allen as clerk. After some preliminary proceedings, 
the following certificate was drawn up and signed: 

" This certifies that we, Messrs. James Bothwell, William H. Efner, Duty 
Buck, Erastus Allen, William Bothwell, and Mrs. Hannah Allen, Mrs. Ruth 
Bothwell, aud Mrs. Fannie Buckingham, members of the First Presbyterian 
Church in Albany, Whiteside County, State of Illinois, being dissatisfied with 
the principles of said church, and being desirous with others of forming our- 
selves into a Congregational Church, and having taken the preliminary steps, 
assembled at the appointed place and hour on the 13th of February, A. D. 1842, 
for the purpose of completing our organization and acknowledgment as a 
church of Christ, to be called the First Congregational Church of Albany, 
Whiteside County, Illinois, with the Rev. Mr. Hazard, their counsellor and 
moderator, and Mr. E. Allen, their scribe, the undersigned were now embodied, 
by letter and profession, into an Evangelical church, according to Congrega- 


tional usage. Signed: James Bothwell, Erastus Allen, Duty Buck, William 
H. Ef'ner, William Bothwell, G. Buckingham, by profession, Mrs. Ruth Both- 
well, Mrs. Hannah Allen, Mrs. Fanny Buckingham, Mrs. Dinah Bothwell, by 

The articles of Faith and Covenant were then adopted, after which Messrs. 
Duty Buck and AVm. Bothwell were chosen deacons, and Erastus Allen, clerk. 
Rev. 0. Flmerson was the first pastor. On the 20th of July, 1844, K. Allen, 
James Bothwell, Duty Buck, P. IJ. Vannest and Washington Olds were elected 
trustees for five years "to control the building and use of the meeting house," 
and on the 1st of December, 1844, the new meeting house of the society was 
dedicated. On the 12th of July, 1846, Dr. C. Abbott and James Bothwell 
were elected deacons for three years. Two of the members died in 1847, James 
Bothwell on the 31st of January, and Mrs. Lucy Howard on the 1st of March. 
Rev. A. J. Copeland became pastor on the 1st of October, 1847, at a salary of 
$400 per year, and on the 5th of December, 1849 he was succeeded by Rev. J. 
J. Hill. P. B. Vannest and J. B. Crosby were elected deacons on the 6th of 
July, 1850. The following pastors succeeded Rev. Mr. Hill up to 1870: Revs. 
Nathaniel Pine, S. N. Groat, James Quick, Samuel Hemenway, Robert Stuart, 
Chas. Hancock, C S. Cady, H. S. Hamilton, M. Ostrander, 0. Emerson, and D. 
R. Macnab. Rev. Mr. Chapman and other ministers filled the pulpit when 
there was no stated pastor. 

Mr. Duty Buck, a member of the church, was killed by the tornado of 
June 3, 1860. His wife had only died during the March previous. Mr. Henry 
Pease was chosen clerk of the church on the 31st of March, 1861, which posi- 
tion he still holds. On the 9th of April, 1870, a pi'oposition was received from 
the Presbyterian church for a union of the two churches " to the end that a 
minister acceptable to both could be secured." No definite action seems to have 
been taken in this matter. On the 6th of June, 1874, the members of the 
church appointed P. B. Vannest, Ezekiel Olds, and S. B. Bliss a committee to 
wait on a like number from the Presbyterian church at Garden Plain, with a 
view of obtaining a minister whom both churches could agree to support as a 
stated supply. This effort eventuated in the call of Rev. N. D. Graves as pas- 
tor for both congregations, and in July, 1875, he began his labors, Mr. Graves 
still remains as such pastor, preaching each Sabbath at Garden Plain in the 
morning, and at Albany in the afternoon, 

Preshyterian Church:^-The First Presbyterian church of Albany was or- 
ganized at the house of David Mitchell, in December, 1839, by Rev. Mr. 
Prentiss, of Fulton. The original members were Mr. and Mrs. Samuel M. 
Kilgour, Mr. and Mrs. David Mitchell, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Miller, Mr. and 
Mrs. John S. Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. Erastus Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Duty Buck, 
Mrs. Ivy Buck, and Mrs. Francis Buckingham. The first elders were Samuel 
M. Kilgour and David Mitchell. 

From the church record it appears that the first regular meeting of the 
Society was held on the 13th of December, 1841, Rev. Enoch Bouton, pastor, 
when a portion of the members withdrew, and formed a Congregational Church. 
In 1842 Mr. Bouton ceased to be pastor, and during the year 1842, and part of 
1843, there was no regular pastor. Rev. Mr. Woodruff, of Rock Island, and Rev. 
Mr. Waterbury, preaching occasionally. In June, 1843, Rev. Silas Sears be- 
came pastor, and remained until 1846, when Rev. Oscar Park succeeded him, 
and continued in the pastorage until 1851. In that year Rev. W. C. Mason 
became pastor, and upon his retirement in 1856 was succeeded by Rev. Louis 
Gano. In 1856 and '57 a brick church edifice was erected by the Society in 
Upper Albany, which was finished and dedicated in 1858. Rev. A. H. Lackey be- 


came pastor in 1859, and on the 3d of June, 1860, the church building was 
blown down by the tornado. Mr. Lackey went east shortly afterwards, and col- 
lected about SI, 600 with Avhich a frame church structure was built upon the 
foundation of the brick one, and was dedicated in 1861. Mr. Lackey remained 
pastor until 1862. In 1863 Rev. Jacob Coon officiated as supply, remaining 
until 1870, when Rev. J. Giffin took charge, the latter being succeeded in 1873 
by Rev. Josiah Leonard. Li 1875 Rev. N. D. Graves was employed, who still 
remains with the church in connection with the one at Garden Plain. 

Methodist Ejnscopal Church: — Albany was first made a regular preaching 
place by the Rock River M. E. Conference in 1840. It then formed a part of 
Savanna Circuit. Previous to that time Revs. Phillip K. Hanna, Wm. Hobert, 
and John Kilpatrick, had preached occasionally at private houses. In 1840 
Rev. Philo Judson was pastor, but there is no record of the names of the mem- 
bers of the church. In 1841 Rev. Wm. W. Buck, assisted by Rev. G. L. S. 
Stuff, were the pastors. In 1842 Albany became a part of Union Grove 
Circuit, with Rev. C. Campbell as pastor, who also remained during 1843. Rev. 
A. M. Early became pastor in 1844. The next year a small frame building 
was erected for church and school purposes. Rev Isaac Searles, pastor. Then 
followed Revs. James McKean, Charles Babcock, Wm. Haney. Mathew Hanna, 
and Benj. Appelbee, until 1853 when the Circuit was again divided, and 
Albany, Erie and Newton made a Circuit called Albany Circuit, Rev. Jesse B. 
Quimby, pastor. The membership was then recorded as 172. In 1854, the 
first parsonage was built in Albany, Rev. A. D. McCool, pastor. He also re- 
mained during the next year. 1856, Rev. A. D. Field, pastor. In 1857 the 
church bought the school interest in the building and enlarged it. Rev. A. M. 
Early, pastor. In 1858, Rev. Z. S. Kellogg, pastor. During the conference 
year ending 1860 the tornado occurred in which the church and parsonage were 
both destroyed. The Rev. Z. S. Kellogg lost his furniture, but none of his 
family were seriously injured, and no member of the church reported hurt. 
Rev. Mathew Hanna was pastor during the conference year following. In 1861 
the present brick church edifice was erected by subscription obtained principally 
from M. E. Churches at the East. It was dedicated the same year. Rev. John 
Frost, pastor. Mr. Frost remained until 1864. From that time until 1868 
Revs. J. W. Jacobs and C. Combs were pastors. In the latter year Rev. Bar- 
ton H. Cartwright became pastor, and loaned the church $600 to build a par- 
sonage, doing a large share of the work himself. From 1869 to 1876 Revs. 
W. S. Young, Z. D. Paddock, A. C. Frick, M. C. Smith, and C. E. Smith, have 
been pastors, the latter being still in charge. The number of members at pres- 
ent is 170. 

Albany Lodge No. 556, A. F. & A. if..-— The Grand Lodge of the State of 
Illinois in 1867 granted a dispensation to D. S. Efner, Wm. Prothrow, Henry 
M. Booth, James Brewer, Ithamar Johnson, Peter Ege, Spencer Bennett, 
David Cottle, Chas. F. Lusk, Cornelius Knapp, C. R. Rood, Isaac B. Emmons, 
J. M. P]aton, Wm. T. Crotzer, George Miller, and J. J. Bolls, as charter mem- 
bers, to organize Albany Lodge No. 556, A. F. & A. M. The first meeting 
under the dispensation was held on the 18th of May, 1867, the officers of the 
Lodge then consisting of J. M. Eaton, W. M.; Henry M. Booth, S. W.; J. J. 
Bolls, J. W.; Peter Ege, S. D.; Spencer Bennett, J. D.; C. R. Rood, Treasurer; 
D. S. Efner, Secretary; James Brewer and C. F. Lusk, Stewards, and Ithamar 
Johnson, Tyler. At the first regular communication petitions for initiations 
were received. On the 9th of November, 1867, W. C. Snyder, of Fulton, by 
virtue of his appointment by the (J rand Master of the State, instituted the 
Lodge, and installed its officers, being assisted in the work by D. W. Thomson, of 


Fulton. J. M.Eaton served as W. M. of the Lodge for eight consecutive years, 
and J). S. Efner has been Secretary for every term save one, when lie was a 
member of the General Assembly of the State. The Lodge is in a flourishing 
condition. The regular communications are held on Saturday evenings on or 
before the full of the moon of each month, at their Lodge room in the brick 
store building of C. F. Lusk, on Main street. The following members have been 
buried with Masonic honors: W. S. Barnes, Thos. Brewer, J. J. Bolls, 
Abram Mitchell and John Mitchell. The present ofiicers are as follows: H. M. 
Booth, W. M.; D. W. Lundy, S. W.; Ithamar Johnson, J. W.; W. D. Haslet, S. 
D.; C. C. Bolls J. D.; Samuel Happer, Treasurer; D. S. Efner, Secretary; W. S. 
Booth, D. Nicewonger, Stewards; C. F. Lusk, Tyler. 


Hon. Edward H. Nevitt was born in Carmi, White county, Illinois, Janu- 
ary 6, 1822. When twelve years of age his father moved from White county to 
a farm he had purchased near Knoxville, Knox County, Hlinois. Here the fam- 
ily remained until 1837 when they all came to Albany. Mr. Nevitt was married 
to Miss Hannah Alvord at LeClaire, Iowa, on the 27th of December, 1855, Elder 
Hartzell, of Davenport, performing the ceremony. Miss Alvord was born in 
Ellicottville, Ci\ttaraugus County, New York, May 26, 1826, Lizzie Blanche, 
the only issue of this marriage, was born April 19, 1856, and died November 
18, 1858. When Mr. Nevitt first came to Albany he settled in the part of the 
town then known as Van Buren, now more particularly designated as Upper 
Albany. During the first years of his residence he followed farming. In 18-47 
he engaged in the lumber business on the Mississippi river, and continued in it 
about three years. In 1852 he became connected with the saw mill business, 
and was so occupied until 1860 when the mill in which he had an interest was, 
together with the lumber, machinery, etc., swept away by the Tornado. His 
dwelling-house was also destroyed at the same time, thus entailing a heavy loss- 
upon him, and one from which it took several years to recover. In 1863 he was 
appointed United States mail agent on the river from Davenport to Dubuque, in 
which service he remained nearly a year, and then went into the lumber, insur- 
ance, and real estate business, in which he is still engaged. His fellow citizens 
early discovered that he was peculiarly qualified for an able, prompt and faithful 
discharge of the duties of a public trust, and in 1852, tha first election after the 
township organization, elected him Assessor of the town, and continued him in 
that office at each succeeding election until 1877, a period of a quarter of a cen- 
tury. In 1870 he was elected Supervisor of the town, an office which he contin- 
ued to hold by re-election until January 1, 1877, when he resigned to take his seat 
as Representative of the General Assembly of the State from the 11th District, 
to which office he had been elected for two years in the fall before. During the 
late long and arduous session of the Thirteenth General Assembly he was al- 
ways found active and vigilant in the discharge of his duties, rarely being out 
of his seat during session hours, or away from committee work when it demand- 
ed his attention. , He was chairman of the Committee on Engrossed and Enrolled 
bills, one of the most important committees of the House, and also member of 
several other committees. Mr. Nevitt was educated at Knox College. 

William Nevitt, father of Hon. E. H. Nevitt, and one of the earliest 
pioneers of Whiteside county, was born at Brownsville, Pa., in 1779. When a 
young man he moved to Kentucky, and in 1805 married Miss Mary Edlin at 
Beardstown, Breckinridge county, 'in that State. He moved from Kentucky to 
White county, Illinois, in 1818, and in 183-4 from the latter place to a farm 
near Knoxville, Knox county, Illinois, where he remained until 1837 when he 



came to Albany, arriving in August. Here he purchased a farm just back of the 
present village of Albany, and also became one of the original proprietors of 
Upper Albany. In 1821 Mr. Nevitt was appointed Justice of the Peace by the 
House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the State, and the ap- 
pointment afterwards duly confirmed by the Senate, and a commission issued to 
him by Hon. Shadrach Bond, the first Grovernorof the state. While a resident 
of White county he was several times placed in nomination by the Whigs of his 
district as Kopresentative to the Legislature, but as the latter were in the mi- 
nority his candidacy was unsuccessful. In 1831 he was appointed by the Gov- 
enor as one of the Commissioners to improve the Little Wabash river. He had 
not long been in Whiteside when he was elected School Commissioner 
of the county, Jabez Warner, Esq., being his opponent. This office he held 
until his death which occurred in October, 1848. Mr. Nevitt had eleven chil- 
dren : John, James, Clement, William G., xillen, Edward H., Wilson, Eliza, 
Nancy, Maria and Susan. Eliza married Alfred Slocumb; Nancy married Asa 
Langford; Maria married Noah Shelby, and Susan married Thomas Finch. The 
children living are Clement, who resides in Knox county, Illinois; William G. 
in Newton. Whiteside county; Edward H., in Albany; Mrs. Finch in Oskaloosa, 
Jefferson county, Iowa, and Mrs. Slocumb in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. 

Randolph C. Niblack was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, November 27, 1807. 
He went when quite a lad to Sciota county, Ohio, whore he learned the carpen- 
ter's trade, and remained quite a number of years, and then came to Albany, ar- 
riving April 14, 1837, and settled in Lower Albany. He at once commenced 
working at his trade, and built and assisted in building some of the first houses 
erected in Albany. On the 11th of February, 1838. he was married to Miss 
Amy Buck by the Rev. Mr. Hazard, of Lyndon. At that time parties had to go 
to Dixon for marriage licenses, and travel many miles of the distance 'without 
seeing a human habitation. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Niblaek, 
but both died in their infancy. Mr. Niblack made the first coffin needed in Al- 
bany, it being for a young child of Mr. Erastus Allen. He also painted the first 
house in the town, tide present Eagle Hotel building. He has frequently been 
Commissioner of Highways for the town, and held other town offices. 

Benjamin S. Quick was born in the town of Hopel, Hunterdon county, 
New Jersey, on the 20th of December, 1815. When quite young he went to 
Cayuga county, N. Y., and from thence to Louisville, Kentucky. From the lat- 
ter place he came to Albany, arriving July 17, 1839, and after clerking a time 
for W. S. Barnes, engaged in wagon making, his original trade. On the 5th of 
April, 1843, he married Miss Mary Ann Slaymaker at Cordova, Rock Island 
county, Illinois. Miss Slaymaker was born at Williamstown, Lancaster county, 
Pa., in June. 1817. They have had four children, George D., born July 3, 1847; 
Margaret C. born July 15, 1850; Jane, born August 20, 1852, and Benjamin 
H., born December 3, 1856. George D. married Miss Axilla Booth, and resides 
in Albany. Margaret C. married James H. Ege, and resides in Minneapolis, 
Minn., and Jane married Edwin Beckwith, and resides in Albany. All of the 
children are living. Besides wagon and carriage business Mr. Quick has been 
engaged in merchandizing and in the grain and stock business during his long 
residence in Albany, the latter of which he still follows. Although averse to 
holding any public position his fellow citizens have called upon him to hold 
several town offices, as well as the School Directorship for the town. He has 
always been an active, energetic business man. 

Samlel Happer was born in Washington county, Pa., in April, 1813. 
In May, 1840, he emigrated from his native State and located in Sterling, in 
this county, where he remained about a year, and then came to Albany. Mr. 


John D. Mcllvaine came with him, and the two under the firm name of Mc- 
Ilvainc & Happer opened a store where the stone building, known as tlie old 
Fuller Hotel, stood near the river in the upper part of the town. Mr. Happer 
was married to Miss Sarah Curry, who was born in Alleghany county. Pa., in 
July, 1816. Seven children have been the result of this marriage, viz : Mary 
J., Margaret A., Sarah J., Joseph F., Elizabeth L., John A., and Martha. Mary 
J. married Dr. A. E. Stockton, and resides in Stockton, California. Joseph F. 
married Alice Bennett, and resides in Albany. John A. is dead. Mr. Happer 
has been in business continuously since his residence in Albany, and for a long 
period of the time in partnership with Mr. Mcllvaine. In 1854 Wm. Y. Wet- 
zell became connected with the firm, but remained only a short time. Mr. Hap- 
per has been Supervisor of the town, and held other town offices. He is at 
present engaged in the dry goods and general mercantile trade in connection 
with his son, Joseph F., the firm name being S. Happer & Son. They own their 
own store building which is a commodious brick' one, standing on the corner of 
Main and Union streets. Mr. Happer is also engaged in farming. 

Hon. Dean S. Epner was born October 22, 1822, in what was then called 
North Deerfield, in the county of Monroe, New York State. From this place 
he emigrated in 1838 to Lacon, Marshall county, Illinois, and in March, 1841, 
moved, with his father. Dr. W. H. Efner, to Albany where he has resided ever 
since. About this time David Mitchell, Capt. Samuel Mitchell, Capt. Abram 
Mitchell and Col. S. M. Kilgour also came to Albany from near Lacon, none of 
whom now survive save Capt. Samuel Mitchell. Mr. Efner has been married 
twice. His first wife was Miss Sarah S. Thompson whom he married March 2, 
1843. She was a sister of John S. Thompson Esq., and Miss Margaret Blean, 
of Newton. The only child of this marriage living is Wm. E. f]fner, Esq., of 
Coleta, in this county. Mrs. Efner died on the 2d of September, 1845. Mr. 
Efner was married to his second wife, Miss Sarah Brewer, at Albany, on the 
28th of August, 1848, by Kev. Father McKean. Miss Brewer was born in 
England on the 8th of October, 1826. When she was but a child her father 
emigrated to this country, bringing his family with him, and settled near Har- 
risburg. Pa., and in 1844 came to Albany. At the age of sixteen Mr. Efner 
began to learn the mason trade, and this trade he followed more or less until the 
year 1864. His fellow citizens both of the town and Legislative District have 
frequently called upon him to serve them in a public capacity. For twenty-five 
years last past he has held the office of Justice of the Peace, with the single ex- 
ception of about one year. The pei'son then elected died shortly afterwards, and 
Mr. Efner was elected to fill the vacancy. He was a member of the 
Board of Supervisors from 1863 to 1870, but resigned during the latter year to 
take a seat as Representative in the General Assembly of the State, to which 
he had been elected. So well pleased were the people of the District with his 
services as Representative that he was re-elected in 1873. During these two 
terms of the Legislature the revision of the laws of the State were completed, 
and made to conform to the new constitution of 1870. In this arduous and ex- 
acting labor Mr. Efner took a conspicuous part. In 1859 he was admitted to 
practice law, going in person to Springfield to attend examination for that pur- 
pose. The examination was held by a committee of examiners selected from the 
ablest members of the bar, by the Supreme Court which was then in session at 
the State Capital. Mr. Efner has also served as clerk and attorney for the 
Board of Trustees of the village of Albany, and at present holds these posi- 

William S. Barnes was born in Woodstock, Vermont, May 11, 1808, and 
settled in Lower Albany July 23,1839. He was married to Miss Adaline Howe 


at Lowell, Mass., in 1830. The children of this union have been Frances D., born 
May 28, 1831; Lucia, born April 15, 1833, now dead; Sarah, born February 16, 
1835, married and living in Vermont; Adaline, born April 1, 1839, married and 
living in Iowa; William Henry, born September 12, 1841, living in Albany; 
Mary, born September 20, 1842, now dead; Louisa, born May 20, 1846, now 
dead; Charles S., born March 16, 1848, living in Albany. The next year after 
Mr. Barnes' arrival in Albany he erected the present Eagle Hotel building, 
using it for the first few years as a store and boarding house. In 1846 he 
opened the hotel, and it very soon became under his able management one of 
the best known and most popular hotels in all this section of the country. Mr. 
Barnes was personally a very genial and popular man, and was honored by his 
fellow citizens and by the General Government with different positions of public 
trust. He was the first Supervisor of the township after its organization, and 
was elected to the same position several times afterwards. During his lifetime 
he was a prominent member of the Masonic Fraternity. His death occurred on 
the 20th of July, 1872, and the funeral was attended by a large number of 
his Masonic brethren. 

William W. Durant is a native of Thomastou, State of Maine, and was 
born May 27, 1803. Mr. Durant was married to his first wife. Miss Susanna L. 
Marsh, at Roxbury, Massachusetts, June 1, 1827. She died at Rock Falls, in 
this county, in October, 1839. In December, 1840, Mr. Durant married his 
second wife, Miss Emily M. Martin. The children by the first wife were E. W., 
S. L., and W. W.; and by the second wife, Charles A., Helen Maria, Alfred H., 
and Augusta. E. W. Durant resides at Stillwater, Minnesota, and the rest at 
Albany, Illinois. All are living except Helen M., wife of Joseph S. Green, who 
died at Albany in April, 1876. Mr. Durant came first to Whiteside in June, 
1838, and settled at Rock Falls, where he remained until August, 1844, when 
he moved to and settled in Albany, and has since resided at that place. The 
first few years of his residence in Whiteside was devoted to farming, and since 
then he has been engaged in merchandizing. He was one of the first Assessors 
appointed for the precincts by the County Commissioners, his distrfct compris- 
ing Rapids precinct. He has also been Justice of the Peace, and since 1863 
Postmaster at Albany. 

Ivy Buck was born at Nassau, Rensselaer county, New York, March 22, 
1801, and went at an early age to Ellicottville, Cattaraugus county. New 
York, where he remained until 1837, when he moved to Albany, in this county, 
and continued to reside there until his death which occurred a few years ago. 
Mr. Buck married Miss Mary Pindar, a native of Scoharie, New York, at 
Worcester, Otsego county. New York, June 6, 1827. She is also dead. The 
children of this marriage are Melinda, born at Franklinville, N. Y., March 17, 
1828; Stephen, born at Franklinville, N. Y., November 28, 1838, and Edwin H. 
born at Albany, Illinois, October 9, 1844. Melinda married Stephen B. Slo- 
cumb, and resides in Newton, Whiteside county; Stephen married Mary Mitchell 
and resides at Clinton, Iowa, and Edwin H., married Ella M. Rexroad, and re- 
sides at Fulton, Whiteside county. Mr. Buck was a captain of a militia 
company, and held various town offices in Ellicottville, N. Y., and after 
moving to Albany was elected a Justice of the Peace and served in that 
capacity about eighteen years. He was a mason by trade, and put up quite a 
number of buildings in Albany. He also kept a store for several years, and at 
one time owned the ferry across the Mississippi river, between Albany and 
Camanche, and ran a steam ferry boat. During his residence in Whiteside he 
took an active part in advancing the interests of the county. 

Lyman Bennett was born at Springfield, Mass., November 8, 1802, and 


came to Whiteside county in the fall of 1835. His route to the West was by 
way of Lake Erie from Buffalo to Detroit, and thence bj-^ team to Rock River 
Valley, where he lived for three months with John Stakes, near Prophetstown, 
and then took a claim one mile below Portland, upon which he remained three 
years. In the spring of 1839 he moved to Newton, and selecting a farm near 
Kingsbury lived upon it until February, 1854, when he became a resident of 
Albany where he has since made his home. His wife was Miss Susan Lathrom, 
a native of Norwich, Connecticut. Their marriage took place at Cazenovia, 
N. Y., October 31, 1827. The children are Elizabeth, Helen, and Emily, born 
in Cazenovia, N. Y., and Jane, Harriet, Lewis, Sophronia, Alice, and Irene, 
born in Whiteside county. Elizabeth married Charles H. Slocumb, and 
lives in Newton; Helen married D. C. Hanks, and lives in Albany; Emily 
married S. B. Hanks, and lives in Albany; Jane married A. T. Jenks, and died 
some years ago; Harriet married A. T. Jenks, and lives in Albany; Lewis 
married Amy Chandler, and is a resident of Anamosa, Iowa; Sophronia married 
Dr. Robert Hill, and lives at Dubuque, Iowa; Alice married J. T. Happer, and 
lives at Albany, and Irene married Charles Paddock, and lives at Albany. Mr. 
Bennett has followed the occupation of a farmer during his lifetime. 


History of Coloma Township — Biographical — History of Rock Falls 
— Nurseries — Manufacturing Establishments — Newspapers — 
Churches and Other Organizations. 

History op Coloma Township. 

The township of Coloma lies south of Rock river, being a part of Con- 
gressional township 21 north, range seven east of the fourth Principal Mer- 
idian. It contains about 6,040 acres, embracing five entire and eight fractional 
sections. The surface is diversified by irregular sand ridges and hills, and the 
soil is a sandy loam — in some parts almost entirely sand. Along the river it is 
somewhat broken. The southern part is very level and originally abounded in 
sloughs, most of which have been drained, and now produce great quantities of 
grass. It has few creeks — a small one in the eastern, and a somewhat larger 
one in the western part, both flowing north into Rock river. It has only a 
small tract of timbered land lying along the river. The soil is light, and not 
highly productive, but all the grains and fruits grown in this section of the 
State are produced, and it is well adapted to gardening and nursery culture. 
It has an abundance of limestone along the river, but it is overlain by about 
twelve feet of sand, and six feet of coarse glacial gravel, and the upper beds 
are soft and worthless; after removing some twenty feet of material several 
strata of excellent stone, making altogether a thickness of about six feet, are 
obtained, when water prevents further working. There is also an extensive 
deposit of Peroxide of iron — Hemetite — which is largely used in the man- 
ufacture of paint by the Sterling Mineral Paint Company. This substance 
crops out in the river bank for a considerable distance, and as it softens quite 
rapidly when exposed to the air, forming a tenacious red clay, the bank looks 
as if drenched with blood. 

The first permanent settlement in the territory now embraced in Coloma 
township was made by Edward Atkins, a native of Ireland, and Isaac Merrill, 
a native of Connecticut, early in 1837 — Mr. Merrill being the prior settler. 
Before the close of the year they were joined by Noah Merrill and Daniel 
Brooks, and Atkins, who was an energetic, enterprising man, had begun the 
erection of a large frame house intended for a hotel. November 6, 1838, a 
son— Nelson B., now a resident of Sterling — was born to Noah Merrill, be- 
lieved to have been the first white child who began existence in Coloma. In 
February, 1839, there were living in what is now Coloma township, Edward 
Atkins, Isaac Merrill, Noah Merrill, Daniel Brooks, Ira Sillaman, Zerah M. 
Chapman, A. B. Wheeler, W. W. Durant, now of Albany, Samuel B. Cushing, 
John J. Cushing and Frank Cushing. Herman Emmons and L. H. Woodworth 
came into the settlement this year. W. W. Durant had a small store, the first 
in this vicinity. In 1837 Edward Atkins, A. B.Wheeler, Isaac Merrill and Daniel 
Brooks laid out the town of Rapids City on a scale commensurate with its imagin- 
ary future grandeur, hopes never to be realized. It was a mile square, occupying 


the jtract on which Rock Falls now_stands. The State had entered upon an 
extensive but insane system of internal improvements by which canals and 

^railroads were to be built to every hamlet, and under which paper towns mul- 
tiplied almost as rapidly as frogs in Kgypt. P]very man began to consider his 
humble cabin the nucleus of a great commercial emporium, and in his dreams 
he saw the day when extensive warehouses and vast manufactories should 
crowd each other along the banks of the neighboring brook, when some yet to 
be built canal should bear on its bosom the wealth of an empire, and when over 
the projected lines of railroad should be borne a mighty tide of traffic. It was 
not for a moment considered that an uninhabited country could not in the 
nature of things require a large amount of articles from abroad, and that it 
could produce very little to send away. The wild schemes daily increased in 
number. A reckless system of finance based on nothing, and professing to 
create values Avhere none existed, was relied on to raise funds and provide for 
the expense of these needless constructions, until at last the end came — 
bankruptcy — easily foreseen by prudence and moderate sagacity. This part of 
the State was to share in the blessings of free communication with the rest of 
the world, and as, if the rapids were removed, something that courtesy might 
consent to call a boat might navigate Rock river as far as Dixon, and as such 
obstructions were easily turned by a canal, and as, moreover, a canal besides 
being a good thing gave a chance for fat contracts, it was resolved to construct 

_one around the rapids at this point. The contract was let in 1839 to Ethan 
Nijlhols Mr. Nichols dying the same year his brother and Sanger and Gal- 
hrfiath, who had been contractors on the Illinois and Michigan Canal , took charge 
of the contract. L. H. Woodworth, who came in 1839, was engineer in charge, 
having previously practiced his profession in the East. Work was commenced. 
Sanger and Nichols opened a large store, and for a time all went well and the 
desert seemed to be about to "bud and blossom as the rose." About $-±0,000 

_was expended — a large sum for those times. The store did a hea-\^ business. 
The canal was nearly half completed, and the future seemed radiant with hope, 
when the gaudy bubble burst and rudely dissipated the gorgeous mirage. The 
State was bankrupt, loaded with debts of which the most sanguine could not 
see a possibility of payment. Work ceased, and the only memorials of the 
project are its history, an unsightly ditch, and some heaps of broken stone. 
In October 1839 death made his first visit to the settlement, bearing beyond 
the dark river Mi's. W. W. Durant. A marriage had been solemnized previous 
to this time, William Hawkins and Luna Brooks being the contracting parties. 
In 1844 Mr. Richard Arey came to Coloma and took charge of the property 
formerly owned by Atkins, whose interest had been purchased by James E. 
Cooley, of New York, in 1843. This property included an undivided interest 
in the valuable water front on which the manufactories of Rock Falls are now 
located. With the bursting of the interijal improvement bubble, and the wide- 
spread ruin consequent thereon, business stagnation and hard times came, stores 
were closed, public works suspended, and for a time but little progress was 
made; when prosperity again visited the banks of Rock river, business en- 
throned herself on the north side of the stream. During the winter of 1844 
about thirty Winnebago Indians camped in the vicinity. They are described as 
very filthy, and most persevering beggars. The next spring they went north, 
never to return, the last of the red men who made this pleasant land their home, 
and since that time Indians have seldom visited this region. From this date 
neither a store nor shop of any kind was found within the borders of Coloma 
until 1867. Until 1857 there was no way of crossing the river except by ford- 
ing, although several attempts had been made to establish a ferry above the 


rapids which had resulted in failure. In 1845 the first school was taught. In 
1846 the first school house was fitted up, funds being raised by subscription; it 
was used for the next ten years. In 1856 a new school house was finished, and 
a bridge built by subscription nearly completed, a few plank being left out to 
prevent its use until paid for. As some of the subscriptions were payable only 
on its completion, they could not be collected, and it being carried away by a 
freshet in February, 1857, it was never opened for travel. In the same year, 
after the destruction of the bridge. B. G. Wheeler, a banker of Sterling, started 
a ferry above the rapids, but as it was not adequate to the wants of the public, 
being frequently out of order from the breaking of the chain by which it was 
driven, James A. Patterson started another below the rapids. By act of the 
Legislature dated February 12, 1857, Whiteside county was empowered to bor- 
row $2,000 to replace bridges over Rock river lost by floods or which might be 
carried away during the present or next ensuing month. This was intended to 
aid in replacing this bridge, but the money was never raised. No bridge was 
again built until 1863, when the Sterling Bridge Co. erected one under a Legis- 
lative charter. In 1868 the Rock river attempted to declare its independence, 
and carried away a part of the bridge, which was soon replaced. AJPost Office, 
called Rapids, was established about 1847, with Artemus Worthington as post- 
.niaster. and a mail route on the south side of the river from Dixon to Prophets- 
town was also established, but after a short time it Avas discontinued. 

This township was organized in 1852. The first town meeting and election 
to perfect the organization was held April 6, 1852, at the house of Richard 
Arey. A hog law was enacted condemning these much coveted yet very 
troublesome brutes to close confinement, and $5.00 was voted for incidental 
expenses. In 1854 it was voted that a fence to be lawful must be four and 
one-half feet high. In 1855 $50 was voted for incidental expenses, and $300 
for highways. In 1856 the railroad was completed from Chicago to Sterling, 
thus rendering the country more accessible, In 1857 the plat of Rapids City 
was entirely vacated. The township did not, however, settle up rapidly, the 
county map of 1858 giving the names of but thirty-one residents, and showing 
the sites of two school houses. The location of roads was much the same as 
at present. Nothing of special interest appears in the records for the next 
three or four ensuing years. The discussions at the annual town meetings were 
not very fully reported, or were very short and confined to few topics. There 
is plenty of evidence that cattle were becoming more numerous, and also that 
hogs, sheep, horses and mules constituted a part of the worldly goods of the 
people, and that they were not a little troublesome. The pound and the pound 
master were early established institutions and required a vast amount of legis- 
lation, and entailed some expense on the community. The location of the 
pound appears to have been a very difficult task, as it was often moved, and we 
should say that it was a very perishable structure as it required an almost yearly 
appropriation to repair it or to build a new one. W^e are happy to say that no 
charges of bribery or corruption in connection with it have come to our knowl- 
edge, but newspapers were scarce in those days and lawyers not plenty, which 
may account for this want of social enterprise. In 1856 $25 was voted for 
town expenses, and neat cattle were declared not ''legal commoners" after 
December 1st; sheep not at any time. In 1859 a fence ''shall be considered a' 
lawful fence that shall be judged by the fence viewers to be sufficient to protect 
the growing crops;" $50 was voted for town expenses. In 1862 but twenty- 
three votes were polled. Through the war Colcmia bore her share of the bur- 
dens and many of her sons were among those who rose up to defend the Union, 
and jeopardized their lives in the high places of the field. In 1865 it was voted 


to raise a tax for paying the bounties to volunteers, by a vote of 24 to 5. In' 
1867 a new era dawned upon Coloma. A. P. Smith moved into the township, 
purchased lands, laid put the town of Eock Falls, built a race, and awakened a 
spirit of progress and improvement which has since built up a thriving village 
on this long neglected site. July 26, 1869, at a special town meeting it was 
voted to subscribe $50,000 to the capital stock of the Chicago & Rock River 
Railroad Co., by a vote of 123 to 4. This year $80 was voted for township 
expenses, and J. A. Patterson, K. Woodford and L. H. Woodworth were 
appointed a committee to purchase grounds for a cemetery. The previous year 
$200 had been appropriated for the purpose. They were instructed to purchase 
two acres of a certain lot if the title should prove good. In 1872 the Chicago 
&.Jlock River Railroad Avas completed, and it virtually passed into the hand's of 
the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Co., which now operates it as a 
branch line. This year there were three tickets for township officers in the 
field, and a heavy vote was polled — 172 ballots being cast. In 1873 it was 
charged that township bonds in aid of the Chicago & Rock River Railroad had 
been unlawfully issued, and a committee was appointed to fight the claims. At 
the annual meeting in 1874 the committee reported that they had engaged 
Messrs. Bennett & Sackett to attend to the case on the part of the town; $380 
was voted for township expenses at this meeting. January 28, 1875, a special 
town meeting was held to consider the railroad bond matter, and it was resolved 
to enjoin the tax for the payment of the bonds. At the annual town meeting 
for 1875, $950 was voted for township expenses, — $300 of which was appro- 
priated to fight the bondholders with. The question of compromising the bond 
cases was considered, and steps instituted in that direction. At a special town 
meeting January 21, 1876, the Supervisor and Town Clerk were instructed to 
sign an indemnifying bond and procure an injunction on railroad bond tax. At 
the annual meeting in 1876, $1,000 was voted with which to carry on the bond 
cases. September 11, 1876, at a special town meeting it was resolved by a vote 
of 251 to 1, to issue $25,000 worth of bonds running until 1886 and bearing ten 
per cent, interest, to raise money to pay interest on railway bonds, and costs. 
These bonds were issued and sold, and the township had then outstanding: 
Railroad bonds to amount of $47,500, township bonds to amount of $25,000 — 
total indebtedness, $72,500. The total expense of the bond cases was reported 
as $1,169.30. 

This township was originally a part of Portland precinct. It was then in- 
cluded in Rapids precinct, and was known by that name until organized as a town 
in 1852. For the name Coloma no reason can be assigned. It was suggested 
by a gentleman who had been to California and returned. 

The following is a list of township officers : 

Sujiervisor .-—1852, Richard Arey; 1853, L. H. Woodworth; 1854, A. 
W. Worthington; 1855-'57, Sidney Barber; 1858-'59, Frank Cushing; 1860-'67 
L.L.Emmons; 1868, Jas. A. Patterson; 1869-70, L. L. Emmons; 1871-'73,M. 
R. Adams; 1874-77, H. F. Batcheller. 

Toio7i Clerks .—1852, A. W. Worthington; 1853, D. F. Batcheller; 1854, 
A. W. Worthington; 1855-'57, Herman Bassett: n858-'67, J. D. Arey; 1868, 
Richard Arey; 1869-70, A. S. Goodell; 1871, J. D. Davis; 1872-73, James 
McDonald; 1874, C. E. Doty; 1875-77, Henry P. Price. 

Assessors :—18b2, L. H. Woodworth; 1853, D. F. Batcheller; 1854-'55, 
Richard Arey; 1856-'59, L. L. Emmons; 1860, Herman Bassett; 1861-'64, L. 
H. Woodworth; 1865, J. M. Wilbur; 1866-'67, J. W.Nims; 1868, JohnEnder- 
ton; 1869, J. W.Nims; 1870-71, A. C. Hapgood; 1872, L. H. Woodworth; 1873, 
J. W. Nims; 1874, C. H. Payson; 1875-77, J. W. Nims. 



Collectors :—lS^2, A. F. R Emmons; 1853, Sidney Barber; 1854, Samuel 
Emmons; 1855, John Enderton; 1856-'57, Henry Aument; 1858. E. H. Barber; 
1859, H. F. Batcbeller; 1860-'62, Kichard Arey; 1863-'65, J. W. Nims; 1866, 
Richard xlrey; 1867-'68, N. C. Sturtevant; 1869-70, Julius Smith; 1871, Chas. 
Labrun; 1872, John D. Davis; 1873-76, Theo. P. Lukens; 1877, Timothy Bur- 

Justices of the Peace : — 1852, Frank Gushing, Samuel Emmons; 1853, Rich- 
ard Arev; ]854, Josiah Sturtevant; 1856, C. C. King; 1857, L. H. Woodworth; 
1858, Alonzo Golder; 1859, Samuel Emmons; 1860, L. H. Woodworth; Frank 
Gushing; 1863, G. W. Hall, Richard Arey; 1864, L. H. Woodworth; 1865, 
Richard Arey; 1866, J. M. Wilbur, L. H. Woodworth; 1867, J. D. Arey; 1867 
J. D. Arey. L. H. Woodworth: 1869, J. D. Arey; 1870, J. M. Scott, H. P. Price; 
1872, C. G. Glenn, T. C. Loomis; 1873, J. D. Davis, A. S.Goodell; 1874, R.L. 
Hamilton; 1876, James Pettigrew; 1877, J. A. Kline, James Pettigrew. 

The Assessor's books of Coloma township, for 1877, show 6,118 acres of 
improved land, and 130 of unimproved. The total assessed value of all lands is 
$280,630. The number of improved lots is 253, and unimproved, 78. Number 
of horses, 362; cattle, 650; mules and asses, 21; hogs, 1212; carriages and 
wagons, 191; sewing and knitting machines, 158; piano fortes, 9; melodeons and 
organs, 50. Value of personal property, $184,101. Railroad property, $5,002. 
Assessed value of all property, $812,570. 

The population of Coloma township outside of the village of Rock Falls, in 
1870, was 386, of which 334 were of native birth, and 51 of foreign birth. The 
estimated population of the township, outside of Rock Falls, in 1877, is 540. 


NoAii Merrill was born in Smithfield, Connecticut, June 8, 1809. His 
early life was passed in New York and Ohio. In 1837 he settled near Rock 
Falls, south of the river and opposite Eagle Island. He built a cabin 12x15 feet, 
covered with bark and provided with a puncheon floor. Mr. Merrill and his 
family first lived with Mr. Dan. Brooks who then resided where the portion of 
Rock Falls, now called "Gopher Town" is. The united families numbered eleven 
souls, and one bed and the floor furnished sleeping accommodations for all. As 
the women were sisters the families lived upon peaceable terms. In 1838 Mr. 
Merrill and family settled in their own cabin and broke several acres of prairie. 
The same land had been claimed by Elijah Worthington of Harrisburg, his 
claim having been made made by plowing around the land. The anti-claim jump- 
ers association upon the north side of the river through a committee notified 
Mr. Merrill that he must abandon the claim under penalty of having his cabin, 
himself and family thrown into the river. This gentle demand Mr. M. decided 
to resist and in company with Mr. Dan. Brooks secured arms and awaited the 
visitors, but they came not. Mr. Merrill sold his claim and afterwards owned 
several farms in the neighborhood and worked at his trade in Harrisburg until 
1850, when he went to California, and sufi'ered great hardships. After a stay of 
four years on the Pacific coast he returned to Sterling where he now resides. 
Mr. Merrill was married to Miss Amanda Lewis in New York, September 5, 1829. 
Children : Almanza, born June 11, 1831; Seth R., born December 19, 1832; 
Zclemma born October 24, 1835; Nelson B., born November 6; 1838. Mr. 
Merrill died December 22, 1873, aged 63 years. 

L. H. Woodworth was born in Norwich, Vermont, October 20, 1806. Ho 
resided in that State until he reached his majority, and attended the military, 
scientific and literary school at Middletown, Connecticut. After completing his 
studies he was a teacher in the military school at Perth Amboy, New Jersey. 


He was afterwards Assistant Professor of Mathematics in Jefferson College, 
Mississippi. In the meantime he studied law. Failing eyesight precluded the 
pursuit of his profession as he desired. He spent two years in the employ of 
the State of New York as resident engineer upon the Black River Canal. In 
the spring of 1839 he removed to the west, and settled at the Upper Rapids on 
the south side of Rock river, and bought the claim of Isaac? Merrell, upon which 
he now lives, at Rock Falls. He had charge as engineer of the contract to 
build the canal, which was let in 1839. The work was commenced in 1840 by 
NichoTs, Sanger &Gfalbreath. Mr. Woodworth has divided a portion of his real 
estate into lots, now embraced in the flourishing town of Rock Falls. He and 
Dan. Brooks were the two first Justices of the Peace in Rapids Precinct. He 
was also Swamp Land Commissioner, County Surveyor and Supervisor. He 
married Parmelia Parks, May 14, 1834, in Saratoga county. New York. Mrs. 
Woodworth died December 1, 1844. Children: Leonard H, born June 12, 1836; 
George L., born December 1,1841. Leonard H. married Miss Hattie Jenkins, 
and resides in Sterling. Geo. L. Woodworth enlisted in Company A., 34th 
Illinois Regiment, and was killed at Stone river, December 31, 1852. Mr. 
Woodworth married Mrs. Alice H. Goodell, October 24, 1845. Two children: 
Clarence C, born October 22, 1853; Alice S., born June 12, 1859. 

Asa F. R. Emmons was born in Kingston, Canada. His boyhood and early 
manhood were passed in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New York City. In 
the latter place he worked at the carpenter's trade. In 1839 he settled at 
Sterling, making a claim in Coloma township, to which he moved in 1840, and 
has been a resident of the county since then. Mr. Emmons has been engaged 
jn building almost continually, his taste not inclining him to farming. He was 
married to Elizabeth Ann Bartlett, December 25, 1835, in Pennsylvania. She 
died July 21, 1842. Mr. Emmons was married to Nancy A. Booth, January 31, 
1843. Children: Harriet M., born April 1, 1838— she is the wife of Theo. H. 
Mack. Wm. H., born May 10, 1840 — died in infancy. Ida U. D., born March 
31, 1845 — she married Chas. H. Hewitt. Samuel, born November 11, 1848 — 
died in infancy. Lucinda, born December 13, 1851 — died in infancy. Wm. L., 
born September 24, 1855. Nancy Cora, born April 3, 1858. 

Isaac Merrell settled south of the river from Sterling in 1837, on the 
claim where L. H. Woodworth now lives, which he sold to him in 1840. He 
then purchased Wright Murphy's claim, where he resided until 1849, when he 
sold out to James L. Crawford and went to California. He was a shoemaker, 
which occupation he pursued in connection with farming. 

Daniel Brooks was born and reared in Conneaut, Ohio. Settled in the 
territory now Coloma in 1837. He was one of the first Justices of Rapids Pre- 
cinct. A hardy pioneer, honest and manly, and esteemed by all who knew him. 
He went to California in 1849, and died in San Francisco, after a few hours' 
illness, of Asiatic cholera. 

Ira Sillaman was born in Pennsylvania, married Miss Melissa Brooks in 
Ohio, and settled in Coloma in 1838. He was a whole-hearted man, and es- 
teemed by all old and modern settlers alike. At the time of their deaths, he 
and his wife resided in Como. Children: Homer, Rothmer, and Luna. Homer 
died of disease contracted in the army. Rothmer married a daughter of Mr. 
Numan's, of Genesee Grove, and resides in Nebraska. Luna is married, and 
lives in Wisconsin. W. W. IlawMns married Miss Sillaman's sister, went to 
California, and was with Daniel Brooks when he died. He now, with his fam- 
ily, resides in Aurora, Illinois. 

Edward Atkins was born and reared in Ireland. He emigrated to Cana- 
da, where he settled and was known by his family name of "Watson." He was 


a miller by occupation, and engaged in the business. He left the province of 
Canada in the year 1836, and came to the United States, leaving his wife and 
children. In 1837 he settled where Eock Falls now stands. In company witli 
Isaac Merrill and Dan. Brooks he laid oif the town of Rapids City, The plat 
was vacated, and Rock Falls now occupies the site. In 1837 he built a large 
frame house to be used for a hotel. Mr. Richard Arey has occupied the house 
since 1843. Mr. Atkins, sometime after his arrival in the county, again mar- 
ried. When the gold discoveries wore made in California, he went thither, and 
engaged in trade and mining for about ten years. During his absence from 
Whiteside, Mrs. Atkins secured a bill of divorce and married again. Mr. x\t- 
kins returned in 1860, and a reconciliation being brought about between himself 
and first wife, they were married again, and lived happily until he left her. _In 
the meantime, his second wife was divorced, and, soon after the death of his 
first wife, Mr. Atkins was married to her for the second time. He was engaged 
in business in Sterling, and had an interest in a distillery in Fulton county. 
The family that went by the name of "Watson" numbered seven children, and 
the " Atkins'" family also numbered seven children. These last were born and 
brought up in Coloma, where many of them still live, and are worthy citizens. 
The Watson family never resided in Whiteside, but are reputed worthy and en- 
terprising citizens of Wisconsin. 

James Hawley was born in Oneida county, New York, March 8, 1809. 
He learned the carpenter's trade. In 1830 he came west, and engaged in teach- 
ing school. After marrying he returned to New York, and in 1835, with his 
family, again returned to the west via the lakes. He visited the lands along 
Rock river from Dixon to Prophetstown, and across the country to Union Grrove, 
but found the lands all claimed. January 1, 1836, having compromised with 
certain parties who claimed the land, he made a claim at Hawley's point, just 
east of the limits of Coloma. He was so closely identified with the early inter- 
ests of Coloma that we present this sketch. Mr. Hawley's father and family 
settled in 1838. At this time all the lands between Dixon and Prophetstown 
were claimed by actual settlers or non-resident speculators, who held the lands 
at a high price. Sometimes the claimant's titles were disregarded, which usually 
■caused trouble. A gentleman who resided in Harrisburgh had a claim in Mr. 
Hawley's neighborhood, upon which an emigrant settled, erected a cabin, and 
broke several acres of land. He was promptly notified from the north side of 
the river to vacate, else upon a certain day a force would call on him and throw 
Iiis cabin into the river. The man gathered his available friends, from twenty- 
:five to fifty, and prepared to defend what he considered his rights. At the 
specified time an armed force of from one to two hundred men appeared. The 
weaker force were made prisoners for a short time, but not roughly treated, and 
the cabin consigned to the river. 

Artemus W. Worthington was born in Colchester, Connecticut, in 1813; 
married October 9, 1837. Removed to the west, and settled in Harrisburgh, 
July 3, 1839. About one year afterwards settled upon the south side of the 
river. While picking up wheat sheaves Mr. Worthington was bitten by a rat- 
tlesnake, from the effects of which he died. Children: Isabella, born in 1839; 
Robert, born in 1845; Alfred, born in 1846; Alice, born in 1848; Robert Eman- 
uel, born in 1853. Robert died in infancy; Isabella married E. B. Trowe; Al- 
fred married Miss F. E. Sherley. 

Daniel F. Batcheller was born in Bethel, Vermont, September 8, 1803. 
January 4, 1826, he married Miss Caroline Maynard. In 1831 he moved to 
Medina county, Ohio, where he pursued the trade of a carpenter. In May, 
1840, he settled in Sterling, Illinois, making a claim in Coloma, to which he re- 


moved in a short time. Mrs. Batcheller died in March, 1838, and he was married 
to Elizabeth A. Warner. Children: Mary, born in 1826; Henry F., in 1834; and 
Caroline. Mary married Wm. Lashell, January 10, 1847, and resides in Carroll 
county. Henry F. married Mary McNeil, July 1, 1852; children. Addison M., 
born August 6, 1855; Imogene. born May 5, 1801, and Carrie F., born March 
22, 1868; Addison M. married Ella Price, October. 18, 1877. Caroline married 
Andrew Sherwood August 30, 1869, who died in California in 1873; in 1876 she 
married Charles Best. Mrs. P]lizabeth Batcheller died November 5, 1855, and 
in 1857 Mr. Batcheller married Mrs. Jane McNeil. In 1858 Henry F. Batch- 
eller invented and secured a patent upon a hand corn planter, and with his 
Jaijher immediately began its manufacture in a small way. Twelve were man- 
ufactured and sold the first year. Mr. Batcheller, Sr., retired in 1870, and in 1876 
"~K. M. Batcheller became a partner, the firm name being H. F. Batcheller & Son. 

Mrs. Susan Jarvis Cushing was born in Boston, Mass., in 1788. She 
married Daniel C. Cushing, of Providence, Rhode Island, in 1809. In company 
with the following children she settled in Coloma in the spring of 1839: 
Samuel B., who died in Providence, K. I., in 1873; Daniel C, who died in Col- 
oma in February, 1843; Charles J., who died in Kentucky in 1867; Frank, now 
living in Portland, Whiteside county; Dr. John J., who married Harriet Bar- 
low, and is now residing in San Francisco, Cal.; Edward J., who married Mary 
Wild, and is now living in Providence, R. I.; Susan J., who married Frank Cheney, 
and resides in South Manchester, Conn. Mrs. Cushing died in 1861. 

Frank Cushing was born in Providence, R. I., in 1819. He came with 
his mother to Coloma in the spring of 1839, and settled on section 30. No- 
vember 10, 1841, he married Miss Mary D. Breed, at Como, in Hopkins town- 
ship. Mr. Cushing has been an active citizen of the township. He was 
Justice of the Peace for twelve years, and Supervisor of Coloma in 1858-'59. 
In 18€8 he removed to Poi-tland township, Whiteside county, where he has 
since resided. Children: Benjamin F., who married Miss^ Addie Allen, and 
resides in Iowa; Mary Ann, dead; Frank, now in California; Edmund J., who 
married Miss Mary Pfulb, and resides in California; Duna F., John J., Henry 
S., William L. B., Susan C, and Emma L. The latter six reside with their 
parents in Portland. 

History op Rock Falls. 

The town of Rock Falls is situated on the south side of Rock river, in the 
north part of Coloma township; it stands on a sandy plain — sufficiently elevated 
to be out of the reach of floods — rising toward the south into low sand ridges. 
The location is free from surface water, and well calculated for the site of a 
city. It embraces an area of about 300 acres. The original plat covered the 
northwest fractional quarter of section twenty-seven and the northeast frac- 
tional quarter of section twenty-eight, in township twenty-one north, range 
seven east of the fourth Principal Meridian. Several additions have since been 
made, giving it the area stated above. 

As has been mentioned in our sketch of Coloma, the g^reat advantages of 
this site were early noticed, and a town called Rapids City was laid out. But 
the financial disasters of 1837-'41, the unsettled state of business, the want of 
c ap ital, and the difficulty of obtaining money with which to make improve- 
ments, as well as the trouble in communicating with other parts of the coun- 
try, rendered the progress of the locality slow, and years passed by before 
another effort was made to call attention to the vast capabilities of this locality. 
The Rock river flowed as free and bridgeless as when the Indians were lords of 
its banks and the forests rang with the war-whoop of the savage Winnebagoes. 


In 1857 the plat of Rapids City was entirely vacated, and a town was almost 
unthought of. In 1854 the Sterling Hydi-aulic Company built a dam, and the 
water power became available. In 1867 A. P. Smith, a native of New York — 
a man of energy and sagacity — moved to this neighborhood from Sterling, 
bought a tract of land, and laid out a town, to which he gave the name of Rock 
Falls. Mr. Smith possessed the capital necessary to improve the property, and 
at once began the construction of a race, connecting with the dam of the Ster- 
ling Hydraulic Company. This work was completed at a cost of $12,000, and 
the work of building up a town began. A. C. Hapgood removed a store from 
Como to Rock Falls, and began business this year. Messrs. Gait & Tracy 
erected a machine shop, the nucleus of the Keystone works. Gideon Reynolds 
and Mary Arey were married in December, the first wedding in the place. The 
first death occurred in 1868, Byron C. Hunt being summoned to the world of 
spirits in October of that year. A daughter was born to J. Barker about this 
time, the first birth in the new town. A postofiice was established and opened 
for business March 15, 1868, with Truman Culver as Postmaster. January 
26th, at a public meeting held for the purpose, it was resolved to incorporate 
the town under the general law of the State. Ffteen votes were polled, all in 
favor of the step. An election for Trustees was held February 4th, and 48 
votes were cast. The town government was immediately organized. The first 
ordinance, entitled "An ordinance to prohibit the sale of malt liquors in the 
town of Rock Falls in quantities of less than one gallon," bears date February 
26, 1869. It was resolved that no licenses for saloons should be granted, and 
Rock Falls started out on her onward and upward career as a temperance town. 
In 1870 the license party carried the day, 83 votes being cast at the election. 
The license party again prevailed at the annual election in 1871, at which only 
60 votes were polled. During this year the Chicago and Rock River Rrailroad, 
extending from Shabbona on the Chicago and Iowa Railroad to this place, forty- 
seven miles, was built, passing through a rich agricultural district oflFering few 
obstacles to the construction of such a work. Before its completion it passed 
into the hands of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company, who 
now operate it. In 1872 the license party again prevailed at the polls, 150 
votes being cast. The Chicago and Rock River Railroad was formally opened 
for business January 4th of this year. In 1873 the no-license party won the 
election, 140 votes being polled. The town grew in population and wealth, 
and was much benefitted by the increased facilities afforded for business by the 
railroad. In 1874-75-76 and 77 a no-license Board was elected, the vote 
polled being as follows: 1874, 155 votes; 1875, 171 votes; 1876, 230 votes; 
1877, 171 votes. Manufacturing establishments have multiplied, the popula- 
tion increased, and from a town of 471 inhabitants in 1870 it has grown to be a 
place of 1,200. The Trustees of the town have been as follows, the name of 
the President appearing in italics: 

1869:— TF. L. Smith, J. A. Bickford, Elias Geiger, Henry P. Price, W. H. 

1870:— A C.ffaj^ffood, Joel Burdick, C. H. Payson, H. W. Johnson, E. 
G. W. Parks. 

1871:— ^\ G. W. Parks, A. C. Hapgood, C. H. Payson, C. Stewart, C. E. 

1872:— C. Stewart, C. E. Doty, J. D. Davis, F. E. Palmer, W. B. Brown, 
J. McDonald, Clerk. 

1873:— Almon Wheeler, J. D. Davis, Adam Kadle, E. L. Wilson, A. L. 
Hem street, W. H. Shepard. W. H. Tuttle, Clerk. 


1874:— AInion Wheeler, J. D. Davis, Alpheus Fox, W. H. Shepard, A. 
Kadlo, T. P. Lukens. W. H. Tuttle, Clerk. 

^87^^■.—Almon Wheeler, J. D. Davis, F. E. Montenie, W. H. Sliopanl, T. 
P. Lukens, George M. Titus. W. H. Tuttle, Clerk. 

1876: — J. D. Davis, J. L. Newton, E. H. Kingery, James Pcttigrcw, II. 
W. Johnson, T. P. Lukens. George W. Nance, Clerk. 

1877:—/: E. Monfenfe, A. C. Stanley, Sidney Barber, S. F. Oliver, J. E. 
Phillips, T. P. Lukens. Henry P. Price, Clerk. 

Rock Falls has one dry goods store, four groceries, two millinery stores, 
one tailor shop, two drug stores, one jeweler, two boot and shoe stores, one 
harness shop, two butcher shops, three hardware stores, three blacksmith shops, 
one barber shop, one lumber yard, one elevator, two coal dealers, one ice dealer, 
one bank, one news depot, one real estate and surveyor's office, one real estate 
office, one real estate and insurance office, four hotels, six physicians, two print- 
ing offices, one restaurant, two livery stables, the works of the Keystone ^lan- 
ufacturing Company, Eureka Manufacturing Company, E. C. Palmer, H. F. 
Batcheller & Son, Phelps & Dyer, Utility Works, A. S. Todd, manufacturer of 
pruning shears, a manufactory of barbed fence wire. Union Manufacturing 
Company, Rock Falls Manufacturing Company, a mitten factory, one merchant 
flouring mill, one feed and meal mill. There are three churches, a lodge of I. 
0. 0. F., two lodges A. 0. U. W., one hose company. The town has two school 
houses, and a well-managed graded school is maintained nine months in the 
year. The railroad company has a depot building, round-hoUse, water-tank^ 
and turn-table here. Rock Falls is connected with Sterling by a bridge, and 
ji^small steamer^ — the White Swan — runs between the two places above the 
_^m. Measures have been taken to erect a free bridge above the dam, and it 
will probably be completed during the coming year; its estimated cost is about 
$40,000; it will be of iron, connecting Mulberry street, Sterling, with Bridge 
street. Rock Falls, passing over the Chicago and Northwestern Railway track. 

Mrs.M. C. Lukens has twenty acres in a nursery. She has under cultivation 
jaJjout 20,000 apple trees and 200,000 evergreens, of all size¥;"also one acre of 
Dcrries and one acre of grapes. 

Warren Lukens has three acres of strawberries and four acres of raspberries; 
_also 4,000 evergreens. 

G:rove Wright commenced a nursery a short distance east of Rock Falls ten 
^ars ago, and has made a specialty of fruit, and ornamental trees, small fruit, 
and greenhouse plants. He has about $10,000 invested in his property and 

Manufacturing Establishments. 
First among these in capaeity and extent of business is the Keystone Man- 
ufacturing Company. It was organized in 1870 with a capital of $150,000, 
Thos. A. Gait, President. The works now occupy ten buildings having an area 
of over 42,000 square feet, and a total floor area of over 125.000 square feet, or 
nearly three acres. It employs 150 men in its difi"erent departments, and the 
capital invested is at present about $300,000. It is engaged in the manufac- 
ture of corn planters, sulky rakes, cider mills, corn shellers, stalk cutters and 
broadcast seed sowers. Twelve thousand machines were turned out in 1876. It 
used in their construction 40 tons of bolts, 7000 gross of screws, 1200 tons of 
pig iron, 200 tons of bar iron, 100 tons of steel, 40 barrels of varnish, 50 barrels 
oil, and 750,000 feet of lumber. It has branch houses at Columbus, Ohio, and 


Philadelphia . Pa. Its manufactures are sold all over the United States and in 
Central and South America, and sustain an enviable character for excellence. 
Its present officers are : President, Thomas A. Gait; Vice President and Super- 
intendent. G. S. Tracy; Secretary, J. B. Patterson. 

The Eureka Manufacturing Company was organized in 1871 with a capital 
of $50,000. It occupies five buildings Avith a floor area of over 13,000 square 
feet, and a total floor area of about 35,000 square feet. It is engaged in the 
manufacture of Eureka school seats, church and office furniture, chairs, Eureka 
stalk cutter, checkj-ower, road grader and the Becker brush grain cleaner. 
Forty-flve persons are employed. President, John M. Gait; Secretary, J. G. 

The Rock Falls Mitten Factory building was erected in 1869, by A. P. 
Smith, at a cost of $4,000. The business has grown year by year until at pres- 
ent 80 persons, mostly women, are employed about eight months in the year, 
and goods to the value of $100,000 are manufactured. Mr. H. P. Price has for 
eight years cut out the work. Messrs. Hubbard, Ward & Clark are the present 

The Industrial Building, 300x60 feet, basement and two stories high, was 
built by a stock company in 1872. It cost about $50,000. It is intended to be 
let to parties desiring to engage in manufacturing, and is divided into sj^x^sec- 
tions, each 60x50 feet. It is in part occupied. -, 

The Enterprise Works, R. P. Batcheller & Son, proprietors, manufacture, 
the Eureka wind mill, hand corn planters, harrows, cheese-boxes. Twenty-two 
hands are employed, and about 12,000 hand planters are produced, besides other 
goods. Capital, $25,000. The building is of stone, 60x40 feet, two stories 

Th e Utility Wo rks, J. A. Patterson, proprietor, occupy section six of In- 
dustrial building, and manufacture the Sterling corn planter, portable tables, iron- 
ing boards, and other articles. 

The Keystone Burial Case Company was established in 1874. It gave em- 
ployment to 20 persons. In 1876 it made an assignment. A reorganization has 
taken place and the factory is now in running order under the name of the Rock 
Falls Manufacturing Company, who turn out the same class of goods. They oc- 
cupy a section of the Industrial building. 

The Union Manufacturing Company manufacture the Rock Falls wagon. 
These works have a capacity of ten finished wagons per day, and have given em- 
ployment to about 80 men. The officers are : John Wood, President; Fred. 
Sheldon, Secretary; R. B. Witmer, Treasurer. 

p]. C. Palmer manufactures hand corn planters, harrows, vegetable washers, 
mouldings, brackets, etc. The works are in the Industrial building. 

Phelp&^& Dyer manufacture three styles of corn planters, called the Cham- 
pion, Quadrant and Star. They also manufacture the Champion harrow and 
Upham's reversible smoothing harrow, both very superior implements. They 
made over 5,000 planters for the trade this season. 

The Globe Mill, Jacob Zollinger, proprietor, is run as a grist and merchant 
mill and has a capacity of about'30,000 barrels per year. About 30 tons of flour, 
meal and feed are shipped weekly. Capital, $35,000. 

Newspape rs. 

Roc]c_ Falls Progress : — The Progress was established by Messrs. W. H. 

Cadwell and W. H. Tuttle in 1870, the first number being issued on Thursday, 

August 4th, of that year, when Rock Falls could boast of only a few hundred 

inhabitants. It is a five column quarto, published weekly, and has been from 


its commencement a staunch Republican paper, and ever devoted to the inter- 
ests of Rock Falls. In 1873 it Decame the official paper of the town. The 
office is located in the upper story of No. 5, Industrial building, to which place 
it was removed in 1873. The paper enjoys a fair patronage, and has an increas- 
ing subscription list. 

Whiteside Times: — The Times is the lineal descendent of the Morrison 
Independent which came into existence in August, 1872. It was edited by J. 
W. Huett and Lewis Ward until 1873, when Elmer Searle, formerly of the 
- Reform Investigator of Morrison, assumed editorial charge. Genius could not 
save the Independent and it was sold to A. J. Booth & Co., who changed its 
name to the Morrison Tiines and published it at Morrison until July, 1876, 
when they removed the office and paper to Rock Falls, and named the paper 
the Whiteside Times. It is a six-column folio, well filled with reading matter, 
and has a liberal support. The office occupies the third floor of No. 1, Indus- 
trial building. 

Churches and Other Organizations. 
Methodist Episcojxd Church: — This is the oldest religious society of Rock 
Fal ls. It was organized in 1868 and its pulpit supplied by Rev. J. H. Ailing, 
pastor of the Fourth Street Sterling charge, with which it was connected. 
During the winter of 1868-'69 a revival was held by which many were added 
to its numbers, and the permanency and prosperity of the church assured. A 
lot was purchased, and in July, 1869, the foundation of the present church 
yas laid; in April, 1871, it was finished and dedicated. The first trustees were 
J. L. Morrill, M. L. Coe, C. K. Brown, J. A. Bickford and R. H. Jenkins. Rev. 
J. A. Stayt was sent to the charge in the fall of 1870, as the first resident 
pastor. It was largely owing to his zeal and energy that the church was com- 
pleted and a parsonage erected. He was returned to this field in 1871. In 
1872 Rev. Thomas Chipperfield came to the charge, then embracing Coloma, 
Hume and Montmorency. About the 1st of December, 1872, it was decided by 
the proper authority to make Rock Falls a station, and Rev. T. Chipperfield 
was assigned to the charge. A revival occurred during this winter as the 
result of which sixty persons united with the church. The conference of 1873 
returned Mr. Chipperfield to this station. During his pastorate the number of 
members was more than quadrupled and the church prospered greatly. In 
1874-75 Rev. Lewis Curts was pastor, and in 1875-76 Rev. C. R. Ford. The 
annual conference of 1876 assigned Rev. A. H. Miller to the charge, and he is 
now the pastor. The church has a membership of over 200; one local preacher 
— J. H. Backus; one exhorter — J. H. Boughman; eleven class leaders, and an 
efficient corps of Sabbath School officers and teachers. The Sabbath School 
numbers about 250 members. The church is 40x60 feet on the ground — a neat, 
comfortable building. In 1876 it was tastefully frescoed and carpeted, through 
the efforts of the ladies. The present board of trustees are Dr. J. L. Morrill, 
M. L. Coe, J. A. Bickford, J. H. Phelps and 0. A. Oliver. 

Congregational Church: — The Congregational society was organized De- 
_cember 28, 1875, with fifteen members. The trustees were A. M. Phelps, E. C. 
Palmer, Almon Wheeler, Freeman Coleman, and J. D. Davis. The same gen- 
tlemen constitute the present Board, except Almon Wheeler, whose place is 
filled by Enoch Long. The deacons are Richard Arey, H. R. Hand, and Charles 
Saxton. The membership at this time — September, 1877 — is 80. A church 
building 40x55 feet in size was erected in 1876 and dedicated the latter part 
of that year. It is not finished, but services are regularly held in it. The 
Rev. S. D. Belt is pastor, under whose care the church has greatly prospered. 



There is connected with the church a flourishing Sabbath School of about 150 

German Lutheran Church: — The German Lutheran Society was organized 
in 1877, being the youngesF'religious association in Rock Falls. It is engaged 
in building a church 40x50 feet in size. 

Public Schools:— The Schools of Kock Falls being an outgrowth of those 
of Coloma, we shall treat of both in one article. The early settlers were most 
of them men of some education, men who felt that knowledge is power, and 
that to their children mental culture was almost as important as food. Hence 
schools were early founded and the school house and the teacher were almost 
as necessary in the pioneer settlements as in the prosperous villages of to-day. 
In 1845, Miss Anastatia Sturtevant, eldest daughter of Josiah Sturtevant, 
taught the first school in an old store building in Rapids City. The next year, 
1846, a small building — 12x12 — constructed for a corn house was bought from 
L. H. Woodworth for the sum of $20, to be paid in produce, the amount being 
raised by subscription. It was moved to where the brick school house now 
stands and a Miss McLaughlin was installed as teacher. The number of 
pupils increased and in 1854 the erection of a brick school house— the present 
structure — was begun, the old house having been sold to Thomas Robinson, of 
whose residence it now forms a part. The new house was completed in 1856. 
In 1858 there were two school districts in Coloma, one in the east part, the 
other in the west part with the school house located on the east part of section 
31. At present district No. two contains Rock Falls and all west of the town 
to the west line of the township, district No. one east of the town with a school 
house located in the south-east part of section 26. The Rock Falls school has 
since the organization of the town been under the care of the following 
teachers: Mr. Harris, C Parks, C. Gr. Glenn, A. D. Tyson, Fayette Johnson, 
Miss M. Howland, Mr. Woodbridge and Harry A. Smith who is still in the em- 
ploy of the district. A second school house has been built and five teachers 
are employed, school being sustained nine months in the year. The number of 
pupils enrolled is 235. Number in attendance about 175. 

Independent Order of Odd Felloios: — Advance Lodge No. 5U0, 1. 0. 0. F., 
was instituted Wednesday evening, September 22 ,1875. The charter members 
were M. H. Culver, F. E. Montenie, A. C. Stanley, F. W. Wheeler, W. H. 
Tuttle, J. B. Ralph, 0. N. Hazen, W.H. Cadwell, Fred. Babcock, F. A. Clewell, 
Robert Nicol, Jr., S. S. Lukens. The first officers were W. H. Cadwell, Noble 
Grand; F. E. Montenie, Vice Grand; M. H. Culver, Recording Secretary; F. A. 
Clewell, Permanent Secretary; J. B. Ralph, Treasurer. Present officers for 
term ending December 31, 1877: A. C. Stanley, N. G.; S. S. Knee, V. G.; C. E. 
Payson, R. S.; T. P. Lukens, P. S.; J. H. Montague, Treasurer. Trustees: J. 
M. Armstrong, G. R. Bent, B. W. Doty, J. E. Phillips, Samuel Wilson. Rep- 
resentative to Grand Lodge, W. H. Tuttle. The lodge has a membership of 58, 
is out of debt and has a fair balance in the treasury. 

Indmt rial Lodge No. 5, Ancient Order United Workmen: — This Lodge was 
instituted Saturday evening, June 12, 1875, by 0. J. Noble, D. D. S. M. W., of 
Davenport. Iowa, assisted by the officers of No. 3 (Union Lodge, Sterling), with 
61 applicants, 28 of whom were present at the opening of the lodge. The fol- 
lowing officers were installed: E. C. Palmer, Past Master Workman; T. Cul- 
ver, Master Workman; B. F. Boynton, General Foreman; B. W. Doty, Over- 
seer; H. P. Price, Recorder; C. K. Brown, Financier; S. F. Montague, Receiver; 
H. W. Stubbs, Guide; L. Hannan, Watchman. The officers of the present term 
are: J. B. Ralph, P. M. W.; S. T. Shirley, M. W.; George W. Smith, G. F.; T. J. 
Worman, 0.; H. P. Price, Recorder; D. L- McKenzie, F.; H. Roland, Receiver; 


H. F. Lundy, I. W.; G. 0. Deyo, 0. W.; F. A. Clewell, G. Representatives to 
Grand Lodge, E. C. Palmer, A. Edgerton. Past Master "Workmen: E. C. 
Palmer, A. Edgerton, T. Culver, J. B. Ralph, J. D. Davis. Present member- 
ship, 60. 

Keystone Lodge N^o. 69, A. 0. U. W.: — This lodge was initiated on Monday 
evening, April 23, 1877, by E. C. Palmer, G. M. W., assisted by the officers of 
No. 5, with 45 applicants, 16 of whom were present at the organization. The 
officers installed were as follows: Rev. S. D. Belt, P. M. W.; John A. Kline, M. 
W.; A. H. Copp, G. F.; M. S. Hosford, 0.; Fred. Waller, Recorder; H. C.Cle- 
ments, F.; Enoch Long, Receiver; E. D. Sprague, I. W.; A. Acker, 0. W.; 
Kendrick Clark, Guide. The present officers are: J. A. Kline, P. M. W.; A. 
H. Copp, M. W.; F. Montenie, G. F.; A. Acker, 0.; Fred. Waller, Recorder; 
Heman Dyer, F.; Adam Kadle, Receiver; F. Hollis, I. W.; K. Clark, 0. W.; 
E. D. Sprague, Guide. Present membership, 26. 

Hose Company: — Keystone Hose Company No. 1, of Rock Falls, was 
organized Thursday evening, August 31, 1876, with 28 members. The com- 
pany have three hose carts and 1,600 feet of hose. The uniform is dark 
pants, blue shirts with white Keystone front, blue caps with red and white 
front, red and white belt. The officers are: J. L. Newton, Foreman; S. F. 
Mingle, 1st assistant; C. E. Payson, 2d assistant; H. P. Price, Secretary; T. P. 
Lukens, Treasurer. Present membership, 36. 

The history of Rock Falls would be incomplete without a biographical 
sketch of Augustus P, Smith, Esq., the founder of the place. Mr. Smith is a 
native of Cobleskill, Schoharie county, N. Y., and was born February 2, 1831. 
In 1848 he went to New York City^ where he resided two years, and then 
became a resident of Cherry Valley, Otsego county, New York, where he also 
remained two years. From thence he removed to Gloversville, Fulton county. 
New York, and in 1855 came to Illinois, and settled in Sterling in 1856, resid- 
ing there until his removal to Rock Falls, which is now his home. Mr. Smith 
was married to Miss Elvira J. Champlin at Gloversville, New York, April 14, 
1855. Their children are Florence May, born in 1859; Mabel E., in 1861; 
Helen Marr, in 1863, and Gertrude, in 1868. In 1867 he founded Rock Falls, 
a full desctiption of which is given in the history of that place, and its rapid 
growth shows more forcibly than words could possibly do, his foresight and 
clear judgment in business matters, and his extraordinary energy in carrying 
whatever he undertakes into effect. 

History of Clyde Township — Biographical. 

History of Clyde Township. 

The Township of Clyde is situated in the north part of Whiteside county 
and contains 22,925 acres. The land is rolling prairie and bluffs, interpersed 
with numerous groves of timber, especially along the water courses. The soil 
is a mixture of sandy and clayey loam, exceedingly fertile, and well adapted to 
the production of most varieties of grain and vegetables, common to this 
climate. The timber is now largely second growth. The pioneers found an ex- 
cellent quality of timber, but it has been largely cut off. The township is 
well watered by Rock creek, which flows in a southerly and southwesterly 
direction through the entire township. Little Rock creek also flows nearly 
across the township. Numerous brooks and fine springs also afford unlimited 
supplies of water. The farmers are now largely engaged in breeding stock and 
raising corn. Formerly large quantities of wheat were produced, but this in- 
dustry has been abandoned for the more lucrative business of corn and stock 
raising. In Clyde, as in most other towns of the county, "Corn is King." The 
first settlers produced magnificent winter wheat. This crop gave way for spring 
wheat, and now neither, in point of quantity, compare with the production of 
years gone by. 

The township is now densely settled, since] 1860, in addition to] the 
pioneers, a substantial class of farmers having made improvements upon the 
rich prairie land. It was the rule for the pioneers to locate in the groves and 
along water courses, thus leaving what has proved the finest lands, the prairie, 
for more recent settlers; as a consequence the farms of those first to locate 
are not so fine as the farms of those who followed when the way was broken. 

Clyde was originally a part of Union Precinct, the voting place of the 
people being at Unionville. When township organization was adopted Clyde 
was formed, and is described as township 22 north, range 5 east of the 4th 
principal meridian. The name was chosen from a postoffice of that name. 
About 1844 a postoffice was established and the name agreed upon was 
"Watertown," but there being a postoffice of that name in the State, the Post- 
office Department conferred the name of "Clyde" upon the new office. This 
office was at Milnes' Mill, and Thomas Milnes was the postmaster. An office 
was subsequently established at Brothwell's Mill, and called "New Clyde." 
The township was surveyed in 1839, and in 1842 the land came into market. 
The town was originally settled by English and Scotch people, many of them 
coming from Canada to Clyde. A few Americans made improvements in the 
neighborhood of Brothwell's Mill, notable, Jesse Hill, his sons, and Mr. Wick, 
natives of North Carolina, who were then settled in what is now Genesee town- 

Probably the first claim was made in the northeast part of the township. 
Mr. Jesse Hill carved his initials on the trees on a certain tract of land 
in 1835, making a "Jack' Knife Claim." Subsequently, Wm. Wick plowed 
furrows around a body of land, claiming all the territory within its boundaries 


This claim embraced the "Jack Knife" territory of Mr. Hill. The dispute 
over the land was afterwards adjusted. 

About 1838 settlers began to come into the town, among others Henry 
W. Daniels and Hugh Hollinshead. A Mr. Wing of New iTork, and Dr. 
H. H. Fowler of Indiana, then residents of Fulton, built a saw mill where the 
Brothwell Mill now is. This was managed by Butler E. Marble and his son 
Levi. Hugh Hollinshead, a millwright, and H. W. Daniels were engaged in 
erecting the concern. In connection with it was a grist mill or "corn cracker," 
which worked so slowly that it is said a man waiting for his grist could eat all 
but the toll while the grinding was being done. 

In 1838 Wing laid out a "city" at the mill which was called "Genesee 
City." The "city" was great in its immensity. Lots were sold to eastern people, 
and several came on to inspect the new metropolis. They found a magnificent 
array of stakes, and but little else to speak of. 

Butler E. Marble, the miller, went to Oregon where he died. The next 
mill erected was by Wni. P. Hiddleson, who had a carding machine in connec- 
tion with it. The mill is best known as Houghs Mill. The mill now known 
as the Little Rock Mill, and owned by Joseph Milnes, was the next built. 
Early in 1840 some adventurous spirit put up an oil mill, and the general 
opinion was that all would make their fortunes from castor oil. The castor 
bean was extensively planted, but the early frost hurt the crop, and no great 
amount of wealth was realized, and Clyde added but little to the general supply 
of physic. The flax fever seized the settlers also, but proved no better specula- 
tion than the castor bean. 

Among the first settlements was that of Samuel Wressell in the east 
part of the town, on Section 14. He made his claim in 1838 and sold out to 
Z. Dent. The same year H. W. Daniel made a claim and built a cabin. The 
HoUinsheads came about this time. In 1839 Richard Beswick made a settle- 
ment in the south part of the township. Samuel Carrie made a claim the same 
year on Section 30. In 1839 also came Wm. Wilson, Donald Blue and John 
Wilson; the two last named gentlemen located pretty well north in the town- 
ship, on Section 17, and were for a long time the only residents of their part 
of the town. Not until after 1850 did settlers begin to rapidly take up the 
valuable lands in the parts of the township i-emote from the groves of timber. 

The pioneers of Clyde experienced the incidents common to the pioneers. 
Wheat and oats were threshed out with flails and the chaff winnowed by the prairie 
breezes. Large sieves were made from tanned hides of sheep through which the 
grain was also passed. The markets were at Albany, Fulton, Gralena, Savanna 
and Chicago. Bowman & Jacobs, at Savanna, purchased much of the grain. 
Pork was sold at Galena. Religious consolation was obtained at Genesee Grove 
where church services were maintained after a fashion. There were but few 
claim fights, although an organization to prevent claim jumping was in exist- 
ence. The law of honor prevailed among the pioneers of Clyde, and but little 
difficulty was experienced. All were neighbors, and the first settlers of the town 
frequently refer to "the good times of old" that they enjoyed with the hard- 

The first child born in Clyde was George R. Beswick, son of Richard and 
Belinda Beswick; he was born February 10, 1840. Hiram Hopkins had a child 
born to him about the same time. 

The first marriage is supposed to have been that of Samuel Currie, who was 
married September 17, 1840, to Julia Thomas. A. C. Jackson, Justice of the 
Peace, performed the ceremony, it being the first marriage at which he of- 


The first deaths in the settlement were those of John and Margaret, chil- 
dren of Donald and Margaret Blue, both of which occurred in the fall of 1839. 
The former was seventeen years old, and the latter eleven. The deaths occur- 
red shortly after Mr. Blue came to the settlement. 

The first school in the township was taught by Miss Lucy A. Exley, at her 
father's residence on section 28, in the summer of 1846. The first school build- 
ing was erected about the year 1848. At the present time there are eight school 
districts in the township, each district having a good school house. 

A Sunday School was organized in Clyde, in 1841, the exercises being held 
at the residence of William Wilson. This was the first Sunday School held in 
the township. The school was continued at the same place for several years. 

The early settlers of the county were many of them professors of religion, 
and brought with them deep-seated and lasting reverence for the Bible, the Sab- 
bath, and the ordinances of the church. Nor were they long without religious 
services. The Methodist circuit riders — men who were full of zeal and faith, 
pressed forward to the very outposts of civilization, preaching the word of life, 
gathering the scattered settlers into churches, and administering the ordinances 
of the church. The services were generally held in the cabins of the settlers, 
and sometimes at a stated place. Those religiously inclined in Clyde, besides 
their home meetings, generally attended worship at Glenesee Grove, Unionville, 
or at the grove where Morrison now stands. In 1869, however, a Methodist 
Episcopal Society was organized in the town, and during the same year a church 
edifice was built on section 7 at a cost of $2,500. Kev. L. C. Conant was the 
first pastor to whom this charge was given. Rev. J. Kellogg is the present pas- 
tor. There are now twenty-five members belonging to this church, and the 
Sunday School numbers about fifty members, with Thomas Gulliland as the 
Superintendent. When the Sunday School was first organized, J. M. Snyder 
was the Superintendent. 

A church building was also erected several years ago by the Adventists, in 
the southeast part of the town, but was afterwards purchased by the Dunkards, 
who refitted it, and now hold regular meetings in it. 

The first annual town meeting in Clyde under township organization was 
held April 6, 1852, with Thomas Exley as moderator, and Thomas Milnes, clerk. 
Twenty-one votes were polled. Officers elected : William P. Hiddleson, Su- 
pervisor; Thomas Milnes, Clerk; Thomas Exley, Assessor and Collector; Eli 
Wick and William Wilson, Justices of the Peace; Commissioners of highways, 
Eli Wick, William Aldritt and Robert Wallace; Constable, John McKinley. 
Simon Stapleton and Joseph Milnes were afterwards appointed to the office of 
Constable. The township was divided into four equal road districts, and Wesley 
Robinson, David E. Brown, Richard Aldritt and W. P. Hiddleson, appointed 
overseers. Richard Aldritt was appointed overseer of the poor. It was voted 
that hogs should not run at large, and that a Pound should be provided, with 
William Wilson as Pound Master. A lawful fence was defined to be five feet 
high, with no space between boards of more than eight inches, except twelve 
inches under the top rail or board, and fifteen inches at the bottom. In 1853 a 
tax of $80,00 to pay township expenses for that and the preceding year was 
voted. In 1854 $50,00 was voted for annual expenses. Town tax voted in 1855 
— $75,00. A lawful fence was defined to be four and a half feet high with no 
space between or under the rails larger than ten inches. Fifty-two votes were 
polled. The Supervisor's office for 1855, becoming vacant, Thomas Milnes was 
appointed Supervisor. Mr. Milnes dying soon after his appointment, the office 
was then conferred upon William Wilson. Joseph Milnes was appointed Clerk 
in the place of Thomas Milnes. In 1856 a tax of $200,00 was assessed for town- 


ship purposes. Fifty-six votes were polled. In 1857 a fence four and a half 
feet high of four rails or four poles was declared to be lawful. In 1858 $125,- 
00 was voted for town expenses. In 1859 fifty-seven votes were polled and $150,- 
00 voted for township purposes. In 1860 sixty-three votes were polled, and 
$200,00 voted for the annual township expenses. Appropriation for town ex- 
penses in 1861, $100,00; for 1862 the same amount. In 1863 a tax of 
$100,00 was voted for township purposes, and $100 for building a bridge across 
Rock creek near the west line of section 27. The town Auditors were asked 
to levy a tax of $300,00 for the same bridge, and requested to lay the same be- 
fore the Board of Supervisors of the county. Fifty-one votes were polled. In 
1864,104 votes wei-e polled, and $100,00 appropriated for township expenses. 

In 1865 it was voted to levy a tax of $300,00 to build a bridge across 
Rock creek, near Hough's mill, also $100,00 for township purposes. In 1866 
it was voted that the Supervisor be allowed one and a half per cent, on the amount 
collected as a town bounty tax for 1865. Fifty dollars was voted to pay town- 
ship expenses in 1867. In 1869 a tax of $150,00 was voted to defray general 
expenses of the town, and $150,00 for building a bridge across Rock creek be- 
tween sections one and twelve; also $400,00 to build a bridge on the road run- 
ning east and west past Steinmyer's mill. In 1870, 84 votes were polled, and 
$150 voted for town expenses. In 1871 it was resolved that horses, mules, cat- 
tle, hogs, sheep and asses, should not be allowed to run at large. In 1873, $100,- 
00 was voted for town purposes. The proposition to levy a tax of $300,00 to 
build a bridge at Huffman's ford was lost. In 1874, $200,00 was voted for town- 
ship purposes. In 1875, $250,00 wasvotedfor town expenses. In 1876, $250,- 
00 was voted and 84 votes polled. In 1877, 94 votes were polled, and town ap- 
propriation placed at $250,00. Twenty-five cents was assessed upon each $100,- 
00 of real estate and persoiuil property for road purposes; also two day's labor 
upon each man subject to road labor. 

The following is a list of town officers from 1852 to date : 

Supermsors:— 1852- bS, Wm. P. Hiddleson;. 1854, Joseph H. Brothwell; 

1855, Beni. West, Thos. Milnes, Wm. Wilson; 1856, J. B. Van Court; 1857- 
'58, Wm. P. Hiddleson; 1859-72, Richard Beswick; 1873-77, Joseph Milnes. 

roM;/i67er/.-s.—1852-'55, Thomas Milnes; 1855-'63, Joseph Milnes; 1864, 
J, B. Van Court; 1865-66, Joseph Milnes; 1867, P. J. Kennedy; 1868, W. 
B. Roberts; 1869, Joseph Milness, 1870, Geo. F. Goodell; 1871-72, John B. 
Piatt; 1873-74, Geo. W. Piatt; 1875, C. S. V. Millard; 1876-'77, Geo. Jan- 

Assessors: — 1852-53, Thomas Exley, 1854, Zachariah Dent; 1855, Dan- 
iel Roberts; 1856-'57, Wm. P. Hiddleson; 1858-'62, Wm. B. Woolley; 1863- 
70, Wm. P. Hiddleson; 1871, John S. Peck; 1872, Wm. B. Woolley; 1873-75, 
John B. Piatt; 1876-77, R. M. Kennedy. 

Collectors: — 1852-'53, Thos. Exley. 1854-'55, Joseph Milnes; 1856- 
57, Thos, Exley, jr.; 1858, H. G. Salisbury; 1859, Lemuel P.Laybourne; 1860, 
Joseph Wood; 1861, Howland Head; 1862, L. P. Laybourne; 1863, Benj, West; 
1864, Wm. Roberts; 1865, Joseph Milnes; 1866, J. D. Law; 1867, John Ken- 
nedy; 1868, W. P. Hiddleson; 1869, John B. Piatt; 1870-71, Frank Milnes; 
1872, J. D. Law; 1873-75, Wm. Beswick; 1876, Frank Milnes; 1877, Wm. 

Justices of the Peace: — 1852, Eli Wick, Wm. Wilson; 1854, Wm. Wilson; 

1856, Eli Wick; 1858, Wm. Wilson, William B. Woolley; 1860, Wm. Alldritt, 
Wm. B. Woolley; 1864, J. B. Van Court, Wm. Alldritt; 1866, J. F. Demmon; 
1868, Wm. Alldritt, J. S. Peck; 1869, Wm. B. Woolley; 1872, Wm. B. Wool- 


ley, J. D. Law; 1873, AVm. B. Woolley, Geo. F. Goodell; 1875, A. A. James, 
Chas. Demmon; 1876, Geo. Sawyer; 1877, Wm. D. Hayes, J. H. Carlton. 

The books of the Assessor for 1877 present the following figures in regard 
to Clyde township. Number of acres of improved land, 20,836; unimproved, 
2,089; horses, 448; cattle, 1,141; mules and asses, 15; sheep, 113; hogs, 2,761; 
carriages and wagons, 188; sewing and knitting machines, 71; melodeons, organs 
and pianos, 23; assessed value of personal property, $57,381; assessed value of 
all property, $342,185. 

According to the census of 1870 the population of Clyde was 1,093, of 
which number 884 were natives and 209 foreigners. At the Presidential elec- 
tion in November, 1876, the township east 146 votes. As nearly as can be 
estimated without an actual enumeration, the population is now about 1,400. 


The following, as near as we can ascertain, is a list of the pioneers of 
Clyde township, they having settled within its limits previous to 1840: Sam- 
uel Wressell, Harmon Hopkins, John Hollinshead, Hugh Hollinshead, Henry 
M. Daniel, Samuel Currie, Richard Beswick, William Wilson, Zachariah Dent, 
Donald Blue, John Wilson, Butler E. Marble. 

We present the following biographies: 

Zachariah Dent was born in the village of Buckingham, Norfolk county, 
England. July 26, 1806. In 1832 he settled in Canada, and clerked in a store 
in New Market. He participated in the ''Patriot War," and then left Canada 
and settled in Clyde in June, 1830. He at that time bought the claim where 
he now lives. The grove where he resides is known as '• Dent's Grove." He 
married Eunice Montgomery in 1843. She died in 1869. No children. 

Henry W. Daniel was born in Norfolk county, England, and settled in 
Canada. In 1838 he located in Clyde. Mr. Daniel married Lydia Hollins- 
head in 1835. He was instrumental in the building and running of the mill 
now known as ''Brothwell's." It is said that a machine used in connection to 
grind grain was stolen and carried ofi', a very extensive theft in those days. 
Children: Robert, Hugh, Alfred, John, and Mary. John and Alfred are still 
living upon the homestead. Robert is in Kansas City. Mary is in Iowa, 
teaching school. 

Samuel Currie was born August 15, 1810, in Roxburyshire, Scotland. 
He, with his family, emigrated to Canada in 1829, and settled at a place called 
York, near Toronto. He was engaged in the " Patriot War," and received a 
wound which caused a permanent injury to his arm. In June, 1838, he came 
to the United States, and settled in Clyde in 1839. He married Jane Patrick, 
June 15, 1833, in Canada. She died May 27, 1840. Mr. Currie was remarried 
to Miss Julia Thomas. About twelve years ago Mr. Currie sold his farm in 
Clyde, and is now a resident of Morrison. 

Richard Beswick was born in Yorkshire, England, September 12, 1810. 
He emigrated to Canada in 1830, and followed the occupation of a farmer while 
in that province. He was also a volunteer in the " Patriot War." In 1839 he 
came to Clyde and settled on section 32; he remained there but a few months, 
when he removed to section 30, where he has since resided. Mr. Beswick has 
secured a fine property in Clyde, and has been well rewarded for the privations 
of pioneer life. From 1859 to 1872, inclusive, he represented his township 
upon the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Beswick married Miss Sarah Patrick, 
near Toronto, Canada, in 1836. She died in 1844. In 1849 he married Mrs. 
Anna E. Humphrey, of Fulton township, Whiteside county. Children: Be- 
linda, born January 29, 1838 — married Richard Trye in 1860, and lives in Da- 


kota; George R., born February 10, 1840 — died in the army at RoUa, Missouri, 
January 18, 1862; William A., born January 1, 1850 — married Mary Wood, 
January 1, 1875; Thomas L., November 15, 1852 — married Sarah Millard, De- 
cember 27, 1875; Lizzie, born March 31, 1855 — married William Milnes, Feb- 
ruary 4, 1875; Sarah A., born September 25, 1858— died July 19, 1864; Carrie 
E., born August 24, 1861. All the children reside in Clyde except Belinda. 

Samuel Wressell was a native of Lincolnshire, England. After emi- 
grating, he first settled in Canada. In 1838 he located in Clyde township, 
making his first claim on section 14. He afterwards took up the claim where 
Mr. Z. Dent now lives, the latter gentleman paying $100 for it. Mr. W. died 
at the age of eighty years. His wife died several years before him. 

William Wilson was a Scotchman by birth. He first settled in Canada, 
and became involved in the "Patriot War." He was taken prisoner, and ex- 
perienced the " pleasures of a Canada jail." In 1839 he settled in Clyde. He 
was married in Canada. His wife died a number of years ago. When last 
heard from Mr. Wilson was in California. 

John Wilson was born February 9, 1812, in Renfrewshire, Scotland. He 
emigrated from his native country in 1832. November 28, 1841, he was mar- 
ried to Jane Blue. In September, 1839, after the " Patriot War," in which he 
was engaged, he came to Dent's Grove, in Clyde, and made his first claim on 
section 17. He now has a fine farm on section 5. Children: Sarah, who mar- 
ried E. M. Bechtel; Thomas, who married Miss Elsey; John, who married Belle 
Leggett; Alexander, who married Deborah Fletcher; Maggie, Kate, Lizzie, and 
Charles — who all live in Clyde. Two children died in infancy. 

Chester Millard was born in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, April 
20, 1818. He first came west in the employ of S. M. Bowman, to attend the 
mill in Jordan township, known as the "Wilson mill." This was in May, 1838. 
In the fall he went to Milledgeville, and was employed in Knox's mill one year. 
He then returned to the Wilson mill for seven months, and in 1839 assumed 
the charge of the Cantrell mill, at Sterling, where he remained until 1842. He 
then went to Pine Creek and worked in the Boardman mill until 1844. In 
1847 he run Bryan's mill, where he continued until 1850, when he took charge 
of the Brothwell mill, in Clyde, which he managed until 1867. Since then he 
has conducted the Little Rock mill, owned by Joseph Milnes. Since the com- 
mencement of his apprenticeship, Mr. Millard has steadily followed milling — 
over forty years. He married Anna Milnes, December 25, 1853. One child 
was the fruit of the union, Sarah, now the wife of Thomas Beswick, whom she 
married December 27, 1875. 

Donald Blue was born in Argylshire, in the Highlands of Scotland, Jan- 
uary 18, 1799. He married Catharine McFarlain, January 15, 1815. She was 
born January 1, 1801. Mr. and Mrs. Blue have lived together now over sixty- 
two years. In March, 1820, Mr. Blue, with his family, emigrated to New 
Brunswick, where he resided eight years, and then settled about thirty miles 
from Toronto, Canada. After taking part in the " Patriot War" in Canada, in 
1839 he settled and made a claim upon section 17, in Clyde. He was warned 
to abandon the claim, but replied to the committee that he was in peaceable 
possession, and would hold it at all hazards. He was allowed to remain. In 
1852 Mr. Blue went to California, where he remained three years, and then re- 
turned to his farm. For the past twelve years he has resided in Morrison. 
Children: John, Jane (now Mrs. John Wilson), Alexander, Donald, Margaret, 
Isabella, Charles, Catharine. Three children died in infancy; eleven children 
in all. Charles and Alexander died upon the plains, from starvation, during 



the Pike's Peak gold excitement in '59. John and Margaret died in Clyde in 183 9 . 

Joseph Milnes was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, August 17, 1831, and 
in 1812 came with his father's family to Clyde, where he has since resided. On 
the 8th of March, 1860, he married Miss Jennie Mason, of Chicago. Their 
children are: Thomas H., born March 25, 1861; Lizzie M., born April 12, 1862; 
George S., born July 10, 1864: and Cora A., born April 18, 1866. Mr. Milnes 
has held the position of Town Clerk of Clyde township for twelve years, Col- 
lector three years, and has been annually elected Supervisor of the township 
since 1873. These public positions so repeatedly bestowed, show the high esti- 
mation in which he is held by his fellow citizens. During his residence in 
Clyde he has accumulated a valuable property, lying in sections 21, 27, and 28. 
As a member of the Board of Supervisors, he is active and vigilant in the dis- 
charge of his duties, and brings to the position a sound judgment, and an intel- 
ligent understanding of the needs of the county. 

John Alldritt is a native of Armitage, Staffordshire, England, and was 
born April 24, 1814. While quite young he came with his parents to Lowell, 
Massachusetts, where he remained until May, 1846, when he came to and set- 
tled in Clyde, Whiteside county. Mr. Alldritt married Miss Nancy Kingsley, 
at Lowell, Massachusetts, in May, 1846. Mrs. Alldritt was born at Athens, 
Summerset county, Maine, November 16, 1817. The children of this union 
are: Ann, born February 23, 1847, now married; Mary, born May 16, 1849; 
Thomas Jackson, born October 19, 1851; Isaac, born April 1, 1854; and John 
Henry, born December 10, 1856. All the children live in Clyde. 

Richard Alldritt was born at Armitage, Staffordshire, England, January 
4, 1819. He came to America at the same time with his brother John, and 
lived at Lowell, Massachusetts, until 1844, when he moved to Clyde, in this 
county. Mr. Alldritt married Miss Orrilla P. Bosley, a native of Farmington, 
Trumbull county, Ohio, on the 31st of December, 1848. The children of this 
marriage have been: Emily C.,born January 17, 1850; Albert. October 5, 1851; 
Lucv A., August 11, 1853; Edward, June 2, 1858; Alonzo E., July 6, 1860; 
Henry R., March 31, 1863; Orrilla B., April 9, 1865; Benjamin F., January 22, 
1867. Of these, Lucy A. died September 14, 1859, and Edward, September 17, 
1859. Mrs. Alldritt died March 21, 1875, aged nearly 47 years. Albert lives 
in Friendville, Saline county, Nebraska, and the rest in Clyde. 

William Alldritt was born October 6, 1824, in Braidley, Staffordshire, 
England, and also came to Lowell, Massachusetts, with the rest of the family, 
when quite young. In May, 1845, he settled in Clyde, and was married in that 
township to Miss Mary C. Griffin, his first wife, in January, 1856. She died, 
and in 1860 he married his second wife. Miss Julia A. Hiner. His children 
have been: Charles J., born May, 1864; William R., born June, 1866; Benja- 
min F., born August, 1868; and Nathan G., born July, 1870; all of whom live 
in Clyde. Mr. Alldritt has been Justice of the Peace of the township. 

Thomas Alldritt is a native of Lowell, Massachusetts, and was born Au- 
gust 27, 1831. His early years were passed in Lowell, and in May, 1845, came 
to Clyde. He was married in that township to Miss Lavinia T. Heacock, on the 
13th of January, 1858, the children of this marriage being: Emma A, born Au- 
gust 13, 1859; Annie E., born May 9, 1862; DelbertT., born December 6, 1864, 
and Samuel D., born February 22, 1868. 

Wesley Robinson is one of the early residents of the county; Benjamin 
West has been Supervisor of the township; J. F. Demmon is the largest farmer 
in Clyde, and these, with A. Puddifoot, James and Slmon Stapleton, Wm. J. 
Trye, J. Wood, Fred. Wood, W. W. Horning, John Platt, and R. M. Ken- 
nedy, are among the active, influential citizens and farmers of the township. 


History op Erie Township — Biographical — History op Erie Village — 
Churches and Societies. 

History op Erie Township. 

The township of Erie was formed from Erie Precinct under the Township 
Organization Laws in 1852, and contains 14,392 acres. The village of Erie, 
within the township, contains 195 lots. The township upon the south and east 
is skirted by Rock river, the borders of the stream being fringed by timber of 
a fine quality. The land is usually savanna, which by drainage is being rap- 
idly reclaimed, and is of unexhaustible fertility. Within the borders of the 
township is a large body of sandy land, portions of which is not valuable 
for agricultural purposes. Rock Island county borders the township on the 
west and Newton and Fenton townships on the north. Erie Lake, a consider- 
able sheet of water, as fair as a picture, lies just north of the village of Erie. 
Wells of living water are easily obtained. 

The farmers of the township are principally engaged in stock raising. The 
luxuriant growth of grass making the breeding of cattle a desirable occupation. 
Heavy crops of corn are also produced, and large quantities of pork. The 
yield of cheese and butter is also considerable. 

The first settlement made in the territory now Erie, was by Lewis D. 
Crandall, Peter Gile and Mr. Hunt, in the fall of 1835. Mr. Crandall located 
upon Section 18. The first farming done in the township was doubtless by him. 
A large proportion of early settlers of Erie were from Erie county, N. Y., on 
Lake Erie, and the name of the lake that washed the shores of their home 
county was transferred to the fine body of water near their new homes. 
Naturally and properly the Precinct when organized became Erie, which name 
descended to the present township. 

The following is a list of the first settlers of Erie and their nativity, 
being as nearly complete as can be secured from memory. None are intended to 
be enumerated who settled after 1840: John Freek, England; Joseph Fenton, 
David Hunt, N. J.; George, Henry and Harvey Steele, Conn.; Peter Gile, Lewis 
D., John and L. Crandall, Orville and Alvin Brooks, Wm. Teats, James 
Hamilton, Charles R. Coburn, Samuel Carr, N. Y.; Arthur Putney, Ernest 
Warner, Mass. Mr. Fenton is classed a settler of Erie, but more properly 
belongs to Fenton, as very soon after locating in Erie he removed across the 
line into what is now Fenton township. A biographcial sketch of him will 
appear in the history of that township. 

Erie Precinct was established by order of Commissioners' Court, December 
1 , 1844. The territory was formerly embraced in Lyndon and Albany Precincts, 
The boundaries of Erie Precinct are described on the books of the County Com- 
missioners as follows: "Commencing at the town line in town 20 north, range 
4 east 4th Principal Meridian, at the southeast corner of section 37, running 
north to the northeast corner of section 15; thence west to the northwest 
corner of section 14, township 20 north, range 4 east; thence south to the town- 


ship line, tlience west to the county line; thence to Rock river; thence up 
said river to the place of beginning." This Precinct included all the present 
township of Erie and portions of Newton and Fenton townships. When the 
question "for" or "against township organization" was voted upon, November 
4, 1851, Erie was one of two precincts to vote "against organization," casting 
eleven votes "for" and seventeen "against." 

Mr. Alvin Brooks, now of Clyde, Kansas, one of the original settlers of 
Erie township, furnishes the following in regard to the early settlement of 
Erie. His statements are confirmed by the surviving pioneers of Erie town- 
ship. He says: "The first man who crossed the river to make a claim com- 
menced cutting timber to erect a cabin and was frightened away by the Indians. 
He was next followed by Lewis D. Crandall, Mr. Hunt and Peter Gile. Hunt 
made a claim of the grove three miles below Erie, known as "Hunts' Grove." 
Messrs. Crandall and Gile selecting the Erie Grove, Crandall choosing the 
lower half and Gile the upper. The three men put up a cabin for Mr. Hunt, 
it being the first house of any kind between Lyndon and the Marias De Ogee. 
[This was in the Autumn of 1835.] Soon after, 3Ir. Gile went to work, being 
anxious to complete his cabin so that his family could be with him, he in the 
meantime boarding with Mr. Hunt. Giles' cabin was about 10x12, built on the 
bank of the slough, under a spreading oak. The material used was of the 
roughest, and the cabin most rudely built. LTpon the completion of his dom- 
icile, Mr. Gile, accompanied by L. D. Crandall, started for Dixon to receive his 
family and goods, having two canoes lashed together. The difficulty of I'owing 
against the current to Dixon being at length overcome, the family — consisting 
of Mrs. Gile and two children — and the goods were embarked and the voyagers 
started upon their return. Their destination was almost reached, when night 
having fallen, the canoes ran into a tree top and were overturned. The youngest 
child was drowned. [Other settlers, in speaking of this incident, say dry 
goods boxes were lashed between the boats, one of which floated away with two 
children, whom Mr. Crandall found upon his return asleep in the box which was 
drifting with the current.] Mr. and Mrs. Gile and Crandall saved themselves 
by clinging to the branches of the tree in a half drowned and chilled condition. 
Only Mr. Crandall could swim, and he resolutely set about swimming to the shore, 
to a point from which he must travel several miles for a boat to remove the 
other survivors, livery hour of his absence seemed a day to the sufferers in 
the tree top, but at length he came, and the family were removed and taken to 
the cabin. In the morning the body of the drowned child was rescued and 
buried. Part of the goods were recovered, but the precious iron, as harrow 
teeth and chains, probably lie at the bottom of the river to this day. Mrs. Gile 
had but recently recovered from the measles, and her terrible experience of the 
night threw her into a fever. There were no sympathetic neighbors nor phy- 
sician to assist or prescribe in her time of need. Her husband cared for her as 
best he could, but in a few days death removed her from her trials and 
suffering. Mr. Gile then taking his orphaned boy upon his back traveled about 
five miles where he found assistance, and sent for Mrs. Cushman, who then 
lived two miles west of Sharon. She came, and with her two other women, to 
prepare the corpse for interment. A shroud was cut out, and then it was found 
that no needle could be procured, but the best preparations possible Avere made 
and the body was buried in the southeast corner of what is now Esquire 
Weaver's orchard — at that time prairie. Soon after this John Frcek, tToseph 
Fenton, Orville Brooks and Wm. P. Teats made claims. Mr. O. Brooks built 
the first house in the now village of Erie. His wife for three months did not 
see the face of a white woman. I came to Erie in the fall of 1837. There 


was then three houses in Erie. George and Henry Steele came the same fall. 
Samuel Carr had settled the year previous. Prior to this year, the nearest 
postoffice had been at Dixon, but then one was established at Prophctstown. I 
visited the Prophetstown postoffice about three months after T had been in the 
country, and received two letters from friends for which I paid fifty cents. 
The next spring, when five families had come in, a log school house was built 
without bonds or subscription. A teacher was employed — Polly Ann Sprague, 
afterwards Mrs. Reuben Hurd. She was the first teacher in Erie. My wife 
died in the fall of 1840. and was the first person interred in the ErieCemcteiy." 
The second school teacher in Erie was Mr. Horace Cole. In 18-iO a post- 
office was kept at Crandall's Ferry by Lewis D. Crandall. He had charge of 
the office until 1848 when Mr. L. Crandall became postmaster. In 1849 he 
was succeeded by Judge C. C. Teats, and the office was removed to Erie village. 
The sand burs now so common upon the sandy land of Eric, are "old 
settlers," but strangely enough did not appear until some time after settlements 
had been made. When the peculiar grass that bears the burs was first seen the 
settlers cherished it, presuming it might prove of value, but all familiar with 
a sand bur will appreciate their mistake. 

The settlers of Erie were very soon provided with religious instruction. 
The mission preachers soon sought out the new settlement. Elder Carpenter, 
a Baptist, preached at Crandall's house as soon as 1838, J. C. Hubbart stating 
that he heard him at that time. The same minister preached the funeral 
sermon of Mr. Hubbarts' mother at the Hamilton school house, in Lyndon, in 
1839. He also preached in Arthur Putney's house. The Methodist minis- 
ters early made their appearance and in 1839 regular services were enjoyed by 
this denomination. 

The first marriage in Erie was that of Oliver Olmstead and Electa Hunt, 
and the next was that of James Hamilton and Lucinda Crandall. 

The first white child born in Erie was Harriet Coburn, though nnxny per- 
sons claim that Alfred Fenton was the first, yet from the best evidence it 
would appear that Mr. Fenton was over the line in Fenton township. 

Among the early settlers of Erie was James Cassen, who traded a watch 
to Levi Fuller, now of Erie, for a claim. Mr. Cassen returned to the east and 
not coming back the claim was taken by David Martin. Claim jumping was 
frequent in Erie, and a committee existed to regulate the matter. At the time 
there was much bitterness, and in the neighborhood wars property was some- 
times destroyed, but at last the differences were adjusted, and now are only 
remembered as incidents of pioneer life. 

In 1844 a destructive tornado swept across Eric, the whirlwind having 
crossed the Mississippi, pursuing a southeasterly direction. No lives were lost 
in Erie, but several persons were killed in other parts of the county. Large 
trees were twisted off like pipe stems, cattle blown a considerable distance, and 
farm utensils and household furniture transported and never recovered. It is 
said when the hurricane passed over the river the water was parted like the Ked 
Sea of old, and fish and shells were afterwards found that had been carried some 
distance out on land. 

During the civil war Erie made a splendid record. With a voting popula- 
tion never to exceed 120 previous to the war, the town in August, 1862, had sent 
70 men to the field. This fact was published in the W/iitrside Se7itmc'l of Au- 
gust 28, 1862. Mr. Samuel Orcutt, a soldier of the 75th Illinois regiment, from 
memory recalls the names of 85 men from the township. Doubtless others vol- 
unteered later, which with re-enlistments would gxeatly swell the number. Seven 
commissioned officers went from the town : F. A. Harrington, Colonel of the 


27th Illinois, killed at Stone River; A. B. Seger, Captain company I, 75tli Illi- 
nois, died of disease; Slierman Ferson, Surgeon 74th Illinois — killed in railroad 
disaster in Tennessee; Thomas Maloy, Captain in 54th Illinois — killed at Mobile; 
L. E. Chubbuck, Lieutenant company I, 75th Illinois; Thomas Rhodes and John 
Rhodes, captains in United States colored regiments. A number of soldiers from 
Erie were killed in action or died of wounds and disease, while a number 
of the citizens of the town bear honorable scars made in the line of duty. Large 
sums of money were raised by the citizens of the township to pay the heavy 
bounties and otherwise assist in prosecuting the war. 

In accordance with the act of 1851, and in pursuance of vote of the Pre- 
cint« of Whiteside county, Erie township was organized in 1852 and defined by 
the Commissioners to divide the county into townships as "all of town 19 north, 
range 4 east of the 4th Principal Meridian north of Rock river; and also all of 
town 19 north, range 3 east of the 4th Principal Meridian, north of Rock river." 
The first annual town meeting was held April 6, 1852, at the Erie school house, 
James Early, Moderator, and Addison Farrington, Clerk. The voters were W. 
W. Hubbart, N. K. Chapman, Daniel Morehouse, Charles R. Coburn, Charles W. 
Case, Alvin Brooks, John Freek. M. Gr. Wonser, A. J. Osborne, Frank Campbell, 
J. B. Goodrich, James McMillen, Nelson L. Rouse, Thomas Freek, A. Broad- 
well, James Hamilton, Samuel D. Carr, Greorge Steele, John McLay, John Pink- 
ney, James Earley, C. C. Teats, A. Farrington, Thomas J. Phillips, Abner Bull, 
Alfred Wood, L. Craudall, Hervey Steele, Orville Brooks. The following 
officers were elected : Supervisor, Charles R. Coburn; Town Clerk, A. Farring- 
ton; Assessor, M. Gr. Wonser; Collector, James McMillin; Justice of the Peace, 
Orville Brooks; Overseer of the Poor, John Freek; Commissioners of High- 
ways, James Earley, N. K. Chapman, L. Crandall; Constable, James McMil- 
lin; Overseers of Highways, Alfred Wood, T. J. Phillips. 

. The proceedings of the meeting were certified to by M. G. Wonser, an act- 
ing Justice of the Peace. The Commissioners of Highways met April 22, 1852, 
and divided the township into two road districts, and defined them as follows : 
All roads lying north of the north line of section 18 in Congressional township 
19 north, of range 4 east, extending on said north line of said section running 
east to Rock river, and west to the Marias DeOgee, shall comprise district No. 
one; and all roads lying south of said line in said township shall comprise dis- 
trict No. two. 

At the second annual town meeting it was decided by vote that "every man 
should be his own pound master;" also "that hogs taken up shall be proceeded 
with as in Constable's Sales." Twenty-two votes were cast, and the appropria- 
tion for township expenses fixed at $25,00. In 1854, 39 votes were cast knd 
laws ado'pted regulating stock running at large. In 1855, 53 votes were polled, 
and a lawful fence defined as "three boards, the fence four and a half feet high. 
If of rails to number four, the lower to be not more than eighteen inches from 
the ground, the top rail to be not less than four and a half feet from the ground." 
It was also resolved "that each man should be fined $1,00 per head for each hog 
allowed to run at large." In 1857, 62 votes were polled and a resolution adop- 
ted to raise $100,00 to refund money subscribed by certain persons to build the 
Rock creek bridge. In 1858 the hog law was re-enacted and it was decided that 
sheep should not run at large; $125,00 was voted for township expenses; num- 
ber of votes cast, 99. In 1800 it was resolved that bulls be free commoners, 
and "that line fences be sufficiently built to protect hogs and sheep." A special 
meeting was held the same year when Ralph Sage was elected Supervisor, and 
James Collins, Justice of the Peace. In 1861, 109 votes were cast, and at a 
special election the same year C. C. Teats was elected Supervisor. Votes of 


18G6, 125; of 1870, 132. It was decided by vote in 1873 to build a town hall, 
and in pursuance thereof a substantial frame building was erected. 

Su2->ervisors:—\m2, Charles R. Coburn; 1853-'54, C. C. Teats; 1855, T. 
B. Whipple; 1856-'57, Ralph Sage; 1858-'60, A. Farrington; 1861, F. A. Har- 
rington; 1862, C. C. Teats; 1863-64, Wm. H. Allen; 1865, Thomas Freek; 
1866, Samuel Orcutt; 1867, Thomas Freek; 1868-69, William H. Allen; 
1870-71, A. M. Earley; 1872-'73, C. C. Teats; 1874, M. H. Seger; 1875-77, 
William H. Allen. 

Town Clerks:— l^^2-M, A. Farrington; 1855, L. Barnum; 1856, M. Gr. 
Wonser; 1857-59, Samuel Gordon; 1860, James Collins; 1861-62, L. Barnum; 
1863, Porteus Barnum; 1864, 0. M. Crary; 1865, W. R. Davis; 1866, Seneca 
Teats; 1867-69, James 0. Brooks; 1870-74, H. K. Wells; 1875-77, L. E. 

Assessors:— l%b1, M. G. Wonser; 1853, A. J. Osborne; 1854, D. B. Hen- 
wood; 1855, A. J. Osborne; 1856, James C. Hubbart; 1857-58, L. Barnum; 
1859-'62, James Collins; 1863, George Paddock; 1864, James Collins; 1865 
-66, George Paddock; 1867, John Freek; 1868-69, John D. Fenton; 1870-73, 
A. W. Capen; 1874-76, John D. Fenton; 1877, 0. H. Steele. 

CoWec^ors.— 1852-53, James McMillen; 1854, N. K. Chapman; 1855, A. 
E.Thomas; 1856, James McMillen; 1857, B.F. Hubbart; 1858, William Frink; 
1859, A. A. Matthews; 1860, Samuel Orcutt; 1861-'62, Daniel Schryver; 1863, 
Henry Paddock; 1864, Alexander Johnson; 1865, John D. Fenton; 1866, Alex- 
ander Johnson; 1867, Charles Smith; 1868-70, L. E. Matthews; 1871, A. M. 
Crary; 1872, L. E. Matthews;. 1873-74, H. C. Fenton; 1875, 0. S. Martin; 
1876-77, G. G. Matthews. 

Justices of the Peace: — 1852, Orville Brooks; 1853, A. Farrington, M. G. 
Wonser; 1854, A. Farrington, L. Crandall; 1857, James Collins; 1858, A. Far- 
rington, Joseph Weaver; 1862, William H. Allen; 1864, Joseph Weaver, Wil- 
liam H. Allen; 1865, Samuel Orcutt; 1868, Samuel Orcutt, John Freek; 1873, 
J. D. Fenton, M. H. Seger; 1877, M. H. Seger, Samuel Orcutt. 

The population of Erie in 1870 was 695, and is, in 1877, estimated at 900. 
The vote of the township in November, 1876, was 165. The Assessor's book 
for 1877 shows 3,294 acres of improved land, and 11,098 acres unimproved. In 
the village of Erie 195 lots are enumerated. Number of horses in township, 
276; cattle, 927; mules, 22; sheep, 96; hogs, 990; wagons and carriages, 95; 
sewing and knitting machines, 76; pianos, organs, and melodeons, 24. The 
assessed value of the property for 1877, is $198,447. 


Lewis D. Crandall was born in Erie county, New York, in 1816, and 
settled in Erie in the fall of 1835, on section 18. In 1837, he established the 
ferry still known as " Crandall's Ferry," it being one of the first on Rock river 
below Dixon. Mr. Crandall was SheriflP of Whiteside county one term, and was 
also engaged in business at Portland with Mr. Sol. Seely. He was also editor 
and proprietor of the Sterling Times, now Gazette. His wife's maiden name 
was Phebe Hunt. She died several years previous to Mr. Crandall, whose death 
occurred in 1860. 

Lafayette Crandall is a native of the town of Collins, Erie county, 
New York, and was born on the 9th of April, 1822. He came to Illinois in 
1835, and located first at Grand DcTour, then in Jo Daviess county, now in Ogle, 
where he remained until 1837, when he settled at Crandall's ferry, in the pres- 
ent township of Erie, his farm lying in section 18. On the 10th of February, 1847, 
he was married in Portland township to Miss Lovina Rowe, the children of the 


marriage being the following: Francis Marion, born April 27, 1849; Ida E., 
born March 6, 1853; Alice A., born November 12, 1857; and George W., born 
September 15, 1863. These children are all residing with their parents. Mr. 
Crandall is one of the successful farmers of Erie. He has been Justice of the 
Peace of the town, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the White- 
side County CentralAgricultural Society. 

Samuel Carr was born in Vermont, May 27, 1815. Married Elizabeth 
Emmins, February 22, 1843. He died June 22, 1861. Mrs. Carr married Mr. 
James Collins. Samuel Carr settled in Erie in 1836. He commenced keeping 
a "hotel" in a log cabin in 1843, when the Frink & Walker Stage Line was 
carrying passengers and the mails. The " hotel" stood near the site of the pres- 
ent St. Nicholas House. 

Arthur Putney was born in Goshen, Massachusetts, in 1799. While in 
Massachusetts he was proprietor of the "Oldtown Stage Route." In 1831 he 
was married to Lucinda Wood. In 1837 Mr. Putney settled in Erie. He was 
one of the first Justices of the Peace in the new settlement; his death occurred 
in 1842. His widow, now Mrs. N. K. Chapman, still resides in Erie, one of the 
three oldest settlers remaining. The first bread she ate after her arrival in 
Erie was made from green corn grated by hand. N. K. Chapman was one of 
the first drivers on the Frink & Walker Stage Line. 

Harvey Steele and his wife still reside in Erie, where they settled in 
1836. Mr. Steele was born in New Hartford, Connecticut, in 1808. When a 
young man he belonged to the ranks of the irrepressible and energetic " Yankee 
peddlers," and sold clocks in New England and the British Provinces. Mr. 
Steele was married to Elizabeth C. Wood, in July. 1841. 

George Steele was born in New Hartford, Connecticut, in 1800; was 
married, in 1832, to Miss Mary Ann Pingree, of Nova Scotia. Mr. Steele died 
December 10, 1871. Mrs. Steele still survives, and is now one of the oldest re- 
maining settlers of Erie town.ship. She has a vivid recollection of the pioneer 
days. Mr. Steele was a peddler in his younger days, and sold clocks to the New 
Englanders and Nova Scotia people. Judge Halliburton, the author of the fa- 
mous satire, "Sam Slick," spent many days riding on Mr. Steele's wagon, glean- 
ing from him incidents of his peddler's life, which he wove into his book. 

Charles R. Coburn settled in Erie in 1839. He was born in Broome 
county, New York, in 1804; married Hannah Maxwell in 1827. Mrs. Coburn 
died in 1860; Mr. Coburn in 1865. 

John Freer was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1806; emigrated to Amer- 
ica in 1830, and settled at Geneva, N. Y., but subsequently went to 'New Jer- 
sey, where he was married. In October, 1835, he settled in Erie, with his 
brother-in-law, Joseph Fenton. Their settlement was near the present town 
line. He was instrumental in establishing religious services and Sunday schools 
in Erie and Newton townships, and did much to develop the new country which 
he found a wilderness upon his advent here forty-two years ago. His family 
experienced the privations of pioneer life, having gone to bed after making a 
meal of stewed pumpkins, their only food. The early settlers of Erie found 
many Indians, but they were friendly, and traded with the settlers fish and 
game. With the exception of their thievish habits, the Indians were not bad 
neighbors. In 1875 Mr. Freek emigrated to Kansas, where he now resides. 
Children: William, born March 10, 1834— died December 13,1859; John, jr., 
born in Erie in 1837 — resides in Kansas; Samuel, born January 13, 1839 — died 
January 17, 1860; Ann, born July 4, 1843— married Joseph Guthrie; Thomas 
E., who was in the 8th Illinois cavalry regiment — died January 15, 1865. 


James C. Hubbart is a native of the town of Sanford, Broome county, 
New York, and was born October 12, 1822. In May, 1837, he started with his 
parents for the then far West, stopping for nearly a year in Michigan, and on 
the 20th of February, 1838, arrived at Lyndon, Whiteside county. The family 
remained here only about four weeks, and then moved to a place half a mile east 
of the present city of Morrison, finally locating on Delhi prairie, in Union Grove 
township. Mr. Hubbart remained on the farm in Union Grove until the death 
of his father in 1842, when he spent the following three years in traveling 
through Wisconsin and New York States, and returned in August, 1845, again 
taking possession of the farm. In 1855 he sold the farm, and purchased an- 
other in Erie township to which he removed and upon which he has continued 
to reside since. October 14, 1855, he married Miss Mariah L. Putney, at Erie, 
the following being the children of this union: Mary J., born February 15, 
1857; Luella May, born June 22, 1861, and James, born February 11, 1866. 
Mr. Hubbart is an active go-a-head business man, and to him the village of Erie 
is indebted for the erection of a grist mill in 1870, store in 1871, and cheese 
factory in 1873. He ran the store, keeping it stocked with goods, until 1877. 
A few such men only are needed to build up a town — men who do not hold back 
but push forward every enterprise that will aid the growth and prosperity of 
the place. 

History op Erie Village. 

The land upon which the village of Erie stands was entered by James Mc- 
Millen about 1850, and the old section of the town was laid out soon after- 
wards by Samuel Carr, M. G. Wonser, James McMillen, and George Marks. 
Previous to the laying out of the town there were several log cabins on the 
site, among them the Brooks', Carr's tavern, and a school house. In addition it is 
stated that on the present town site and the neighborhood, George, Henry, and 
Harvey Steele, James Early, E. Warner, John Freek, A. Putney, Charles R. 
Coburn, and William Teats had residences. The regular trips of the Rock 
Island and Dixon stages enlivened the new village. About 1849-'50 the post- 
office was removed from Crandall's Ferry to the village, with C. C. Teats. Post- 
master. M. G. Wonser started the first store, he having a general assortment; 
although it is represented that about the same time, or before, a man by the 
name of L. Higley oflFered a small stock of notions for sale. Dr. Grover, now a 
merchant in Erie, came next year with a considerable stock of goods. Wonser's 
store, also used for a dwelling house, was the first frame building in the village; 
the log hotel was next supplanted by a frame building. Frame structures were 
next erected by Charles Coburn, Tyler TMiipple, and Hiram Harmon. The first 
church edifice was built by the United Brethren in 1854. .Henry Bolton 
started a blacksmith shop in 1850. C. C. Teats was the first lawyer, and Dr. 
Fetters the first resident physician, he locating in 1849 or "50. Dr. Lord was 
in Erie in 1852. 

A lively interest was taken in schools and churches, business increased, 
and the town grew steadily until railroads began to multiply, running to other 
towns in the county, Erie having none. In 1857-'58 the Sterling and Rock 
Island Railroad was projected, and graded in the latter year. There was much 
excitement, and selling lots in Erie became an important business.' Everybody 
talked real estate and corner lots, and upon certain days lot sales were made. 
The farmers along the line mortgaged their property to build the road, and all 
were sanguine; but, like many other promising enterprises, the end was failure, 
and ruin was the portion of many who generously and confidently gave mort- 
gages to assist in building the road. The bed was graded for a considerable- 


distance, and then the matter ended and Erie did not advance; but in 1869 the 
desire of the village was gratified, for January 20th of that year the locomotive 
steamed into Erie upon the Rockford, Rock Island and St. Louis Railroad. 
The town at once took a new lease of life, and general activity took the" place 
of apathy. Business houses began to multiply, and the trade of the wealthy 
surrounding farming country that had gone elsewhere began to pour into Erie, 
since which time the place has had a steady and substantial growth. 

The first saw mill was built in Erie in 1855 by A. J. Osborne and Fain 
Thompson; the mill was run by steam power. The first steam flouring mill 
was erected and run by Simonson & Ritchie in 1868. The present grist mill 
was put up by J. C. Hubbart in 1871. An excellent cheese factory was built 
in 1873 by the same gentlemen. It is now managed by Robert Shelletto, and 
does a good business. 

The following is a list of business houses, etc., in Erie: 

Three general stores, two hardware stores, two drug stores, two manufac- 
turers and dealers in boots and shoes, one furniture store, two hotels, two 
saloons, one meat market, two harness shops, five millinery and dress-making 
establishments, two grain elevators, one cheese factory, one steam flouring mill, 
two livery stables, one barber shop, one cooper shop, two blacksmith shops, two 
wagon shops, three carpenter shops, two paint shops, one windmill manufactory, 
one agricultural implement house, two pump dealers, one photograph gallery, 
one florist, two lawyers, three physicians, three churches, one Masonic lodge, 
one division of th6 Sons of Temperance. 

Erie has also a fine public school of three departments — M. H. Hanna, 
Principal. The best of teachers are employed; a lively interest is taken by the 
citizens in the school, and by these combined influences the rising generation 
of Erie and vicinity is afi"orded unusual advantages for acquiring an education. 

Until 1872 Erie was not incorporated, but in that year the village incor- 
porated under an act of the Legislature, approved April 10, 1872. July 31, 
1872, a number of the citizens of Erie presented a petition to Wm. Lane^ Judge 
of the County Court, praying that the village be incorporated, and August 20, 
1872, an election was held to vote upon the question of incorporation, at which 
53 votes were east " for" and 21 "against." September 17,1872, an election 
was held, when six trustees were elected, viz: A. J. Osborne, James Collins, 
John D. Fenton, Joseph Glrover, W. L. Mitchell and M. S. Johnson. Since 
organization the question of "license" or "no license" for saloons has annually 
been the issue, as in other towns. At present licenses are granted to saloons 
upon payment of $300.00. 

Churches and Societies. 

BaptiM Socirti/:— The Baptist Church of Erie was not formally organized 
until March 24, 1854, although Elder Carpenter preached in Erie prior to 1840; 
but until the church organization the people of that denomination had worshiped 
at other points, and with other churches in their own town, receiving an occa- 
sional supply. The council met March 25, 1854, Rev. Wm. Rutledge, modera- 
tor, and Rev. J. Van Vleck, clerk. The Baptist Church of Erie was formally 
recognized the next day. Rev. L. L. Lansing, as the first pastor, served the 
church one year; the church has since been supplied by Revs. Smith, Terwilli- 
ger. Carpenter, Roney, Barden, Stott, Hanna, Burnham, and Geo. IL Brown, 
the present pastor. In 1869-70 a comfortable and pleasant house of worship 
was erected, which was dedicated May 8, 1870. The present membership is 
about 80. 

Methodist Episcopal Society: — The Methodist Church of Eric has long 
had an existence, dating back to 1839, when the first regular preaching was 


commenced by Rev. Norris Hobart. Very soon after a Sunday School was or- 
ganized with John Freek, Superintendent. Prior to that time the handful of 
believers had enjoyed occasional services from the missionary preachers who tra- 
versed the new country. Thos. Freek, now residing near Erie, remembers the 
following persons as composing the first class: John Freek and wife, Mrsr Hunt, 
A. Brooks and wife, and Mrs. James Early. Among the first preachers he men- 
tions McMurtay, Kirkpatrick, Buck, Stuff, Campbell, McKean, Cartwright and 
Philleo. Services were held in the old log school house. Since the first feeble 
start the Methodist Church has steadily grown, and now has a comfortable 
church edifice, a membership of nearly 100, and a flourishing Sunday School. 
A portion of the history of the Erie church, and the name of ministers who sup- 
plied the people, will be found in the history of the Methodist church of 
Morrison, as Erie and Union Grove, formerly Morrison church, were long in 
the same circuit 

Sons 0/ Temperance: — Erie Division, No. 999, Sons of Temperance, was 
organized January 5, 1875, with 38 members. A. M. Early, W. P., Luther E. 
Matthews, D. G. W. P. The Division has met with varying fortunes, but at 
present is on a substantial footing and doing an earnest work in its proper field. 
August 1, 1877, the membership was 100. In connection there is a Band of 
Hope, No. 60, numbering over 100 members, and rapidly increasing in member- 

Masonic Lodge: — Erie Lodge No. 667, A. F. and A. M., was instituted 
October 18, 1870. Charter members: Benj. West, E,. L. Burchell, A. M. Early, 
S. C. Teats, Arthur McLane, C. C. Teats, C. M. Teats, J. A. Meighan, J. Meeks, 
A. M. Crary, W. R. Davis, H. K. Wells, R. Sage, C. C. Smith, J. F. Dickinson, 
P. Brake, A. Huffman. First officers: A. M. Crary, W. M.; B. West, S. AV.; A. 
McLane, J. W.; R. L. Burchell, Treasurer; H. K. Wells, Secretary; S. C. Teats, 
S.D.; C. M Teats, J. D.; W. R. Davis, Tyler. The lodge numbers 40 members, 
and has lately incorporated under the State law, and purchased a substantial 
hall. Present officers: Samuel Orcutt, W. M.; 0. S. Martin, S. W.; Wm. 
Ritchie, J. W.; A. S. Round, Treasurer; G. G. Martin, Secretary; J. L. W. 
Grover, S. D.; Geo. Fadden, J.D; W. R. Davis, Tyler. 


History of Fulton Township — History op the City op Fulton — News- 
papers — Churches and Other Organizations — Biographical. 

History of Fulton Township. 

Fulton was originally a part of Albany Precinct, and afterwards cre- 
ated a Precinct by itself, and so remained until 1852, when it was made a town- 
ship by the Commissioners appointed by the County Commissioners' Court. It 
is described as fractional township 22 north of the base line of range 3 east of 
the 4th Principal Meridian. Where a part of the city of Fulton stands, and 
for a short distance to the north and northeast of it, the land is niade up of 
high bluflFs, overlooking the river on one side and a wide expanse of country on 
the other. The balance of the town is low land, and a part of it, lying along 
the Cattail creek, subject to overflow during times of high water in the river. 
Most of this land, however, is very fertile, and in favorable seasons large crops 
are raised upon it. Some of the land, also, in the east and south parts of the 
town is sandy. The township includes a portion of the large island north of 
the city. Considerable quantities of wood are yet cut on this island, and 
brought down to the city and sold. Besides the great river which bounds it on 
the west, the town is watered by the Cattail and Otter creeks. Both city and 
township are also supplied with abundance of excellent wells. In the northern 
part of the city are some large quarries, from which an excellent quality of 
stone for building and other purposes is taken. The bluflFs in the eastern and 
northern parts of the city also contain lead, but in rather limited quantities. 
When the town was first settled there were evidences of works having been 
used by the Indians for' smelting the lead ore. A row of red cedar posts was also 
found extending from the river bank, at the street now known as Ferry street, 
all the way over the bluflPs to the location of the present bridge over the Cattail 
creek. These posts were from twelve to fourteen feet high. Their uses are 
not known. The smelting furnaces just spoken of were situated in a slight 
depression of land in the northern part of the present city of Fulton, about 
two hundred rods from the river, and were made b}' excavating the ground about 
six feet from the common surface. They were filled up when first discovered, 
but upon the ground being removed large quantities of smelted lead and lead 
ore in the natural state were found, besides Indian relics, such as spear heads, 
rude knives, battle axes, and several brass pots. The land sloping south was 
found to have been Indian corn fields, and the whole surface dotted with tumuli 
made by the squaws, in which the corn was grown. Evidences of an Indian 
town occupying the site of the present city of Fulton were also found, and from 
the great number of them it is conjectured that the town was one of considera- 
ble fejize. The Narrows appeared to have been a favorite crossing-place for the 
Aborigines. Leading to the river from the eastward was a path which had been 
worn to the depth of two or three feet by the ponies. There were quite a large 
number of Indians of the Winnebago, Pottawottamie and Fox tribes remaining 
in and around Fulton when the early settlers came in, who mingled freely with 
them. The Cattail slough was a great hunting ground for furs, and in the 


proper season the Indians would pitch their tents wherever they chose, over 
this ground, and hunt and trap the fur-bearing animals. They were not troub- 
lesome to the settlers. 

Some years ago the latitude and longitude of Fulton was taken by James 
Haun, United States Government Surveyor. The place was found to be in lat- 
itude 41 deg., 52 min., 3 sec. north, and longitude 90 deg., 11 min., 3 sec. west 
of Greenwich. 

The first settler in Fulton, and consequently father of the place, was Mr. 
John Baker, a native of Queen Ann's county, Maryland. Upon arriving at his 
majority he went to Washington City, but remained there only a short time, 
and then went to New Orleans and entered into business with the full intention 
of making that city his permanent home. He was driven from there, however, 
in 1832 by that dreadful scourge the Asiatic cholera, which raged there with 
fearful and fatal force during that year. On leaving New Orleans he concluded 
to follow the Mississippi river upward until he found a place which appeared to 
him to be favorably located for the foundation of a town, being fully impressed 
that it was better to be a pioneer, and suflFer the hardships of a pioneer's life, 
than to dwell in a city whose very air was tainted with disease, although sur- 
rounded while residing there by all the conveniences and luxuries of life. 
Borne on the noble stream by such craft as were in use at that day, he came 
upward until he reached Rock Island, where he disembarked and pursued his 
way by land to what is now known as the Meredocia, a few miles below Albany. 
Here he was found in November, 1833, by Norman D. French (now of Carroll 
county), who was assisting United States Government surveyors at that time in 
running the meander line on the Mississippi river, and subdividing the fractional 
townships on the east bank of the river from the mouth of Rock river to the 
northwest corner of Whiteside county. He remained at the Meredocia but a 
short time, and then came further up the river, and made a claim and built a 
cabin on the bank of the Mississippi, a short distance above the present village 
of Albany. During his stay at this place he occupied his time in prospecting, 
as he felt sure that not far from there he would find a location such as he de- 
sired for the establishment of a town. It did not take him long to find this 
location, for his eye soon fell on the Narrows of the Mississippi, and his clear 
judgment told him that at no distant day they would become an important point 
in the commercial and business world of the great West. He consequently 
remained but one season at his temporary quarters near Albany, and in the 
spring of 1835 drew up a claim for the ground where the city of Fulton now 
stands, and also for a quantity of land east of the town. Upon this land, near 
the Cattail creek, he erected a small building, the site being now occupied by 
the farm-house on Mrs. R. S. Sayres farm. He lived alone at this place for 
the first year, as he had done on his claims at the Meredocia and near Albany. 
The Indians were quite numerous around him at the time, but, by his uniform 
kindness to and courtesy towards them, he won them over to be his friends, 
and they so remained until their final departure for their far-west reservation. 

During his residence here he entertained numerous persons who were 
seeking the Mississippi river or the Territory of Iowa, for even at that early 
day the Upper Mississippi had become noted as possessing many advantageous 
locations for business purposes, and Iowa for the exceeding richness and fertil- 
ity of its soil and the healthfulness of its climate. 

The house, or cabin, as it was called, was a small one, boasting of only 
three diminutive rooms; yet those who came there of an evening always found 
a good supper, night's lodging, and breakfast in the morning. Mr. John W. 
Baker, the second settler, as will be seen hereafter, informs us how very large 


parties were entertained by Mr. Baker. We will give one instance. Late in 
the fall of 1836 the steamboats became frozen in the rapids at Rock Island, 
on their way to Galena, necessitating the passengers to take the land route. 
One afternoon after this occurrence about twenty persons came to Mr . Baker's 
cabin, and, being wearied, wanted to stay all night. He told them he would 
keep them the best he could, and soon served them with a supper of beef, 
potatoes and coffee, using tin cups for the latter; and as there were more cus- 
tomers than cups, some had to wait until their more fortunate companions had 
linished quaffing their portion of the beverage. These parties had no sooner 
been supplied than twenty more came, and, as it was dark, they could not go 
any farther, there being no house nearer than Savanna, twenty miles distant. 
The question arose, " What can we do with the last comers?" A supper could 
be given them, but where were they to sleep, as the first twenty had the pref- 
erence of the house? It was finally decided to have John W. Baker go out into 
the woods just north of the house and build a big fire by the side of a huge log — 
for it was cold and there was snow on the ground — and by that fire the last 
twenty were to encamp, with such blankets and other covering as the family 
could afford. This was done, the first twenty being packed somewhere in the 
house, and the other encamped Indian fashion around the fire in the woods. 
At daylight in the morning all had their breakfast, and soon after started on 
their route as joyfully as though they had slept on "beds of downy ease," and 
fared at the table of a Dement house. There are many persons yet living who 
have pleasant recollections of Mr. Baker's hostelry near the Cattail. In 1850 
Mr. Baker went to California to seek relief from the asthma, a disease with 
which he had been aflflicted for some time, and remained there for nearly three 
years. On his return, however, the disease again became troublesome, and on 
the breaking out of the gold excitement in Colorado he went thither, partly for 
its relief, and partly to reap a rich reward in the "diggings " of the new Eldo- 
rado. He finally ended his wandeiings by settling down in the city of Fulton, 
where* he built a brick house on Broadway, now occupied by Justice T. H. 
Smith, in which he died in December, 1863, at the age of 63 years. Mr. Baker 
was twice married. His first wife was Miss Maria Allen, whom he married at 
Port Byron, Rock Island county, Illinois, in July, 1836. He was married to 
his second wife, Mrs. Humphrey, at Elkhorn Grove, Ogle county, in the spring 
of 1840. There was one child by the first wife, William Baker, who now lives 
in O'Brien county, Iowa. His widow is still living, and resides with Mrs. John 
Phelps, a daughter by her first marriage, in the city of Fulton. Although at an 
advanced age, her recollection of early Fulton is still strong and vivid. 

The second settler was John W. Baker, now a well to do farmer, and resi- 
dent of Garden Plain. John W. also came from Queen Ann's county, Maryland, 
and was attracted to the Mississippi by the glowing accounts of his uncle, the 
original John. He came in the fall of 1836, and brought with him his wife, 
three sisters and a niece. At that time there were no houses in Fulton, 
and for the first season all lived with John Baker in the little house near the 
Cattail and helped entertain the travelers and land seekers who were then flock- 
ing "Westward, Ho." Edward Rolph and Thomas Dale came the same year. 

Quite a large accession was made to the infant settlement in 1837, the fol- 
lowing being the arrivals : James McCoy, Henry C. Fellows, Dr. Daniel Reed, 
R. J. Jenks. Jeremiah Humphreys, Alvin Humphreys, George W. Kellogg, John 
B. Jenkins, Robert Booth, John Redfern, Henry M. Grinnold, John 
Grinnold, Jesse 'Johnson, William H. Knight, David Ross, Hosea Jacobs, 
Isaac Wickson, Lyman Blake, Enos Herdman, J. B. Rhodes, Moses Barlow, 
Allen Graves, Jonathan Briggs, A. Briggs, Thomas Baker, Edward Cow- 


drey and Alonzo Terrell. Among those who came in 1838 were Edward 
Church, Royal Jacobs, Sen., Royal Jacobs, Jr., A. INI. Wing, Caleb Clark, 
and Rev. John Prentiss; and in 1830 Hollis Chenery, Augustin Phelps, Jacob 
Baker and family, John G. Colin, H. H. Fowler, William Grant and Thomas Sey. 
After 1839 the settlers came in more numerously. 

Of those who came in the years above mentioned the following still reside 
in Fulton : James McCoy, Henry C. Fellows, ]^r. Daniel Reed, William H. 
Knight, Lyman Blake and Caleb Clark. William Grant resides in Garden Plain. 

The first white women who settled in the town were Mrs. John W. Baker, 
Misses Rosena, Frances and Martha Baker, and Elizabeth Skinner. The latter 
died in 1837 as mentioned elsewhere. Mrs. Baker is still living. Rosena Baker 
married Jacob Parker, of Garden Plain; Francis Baker married Edward Rolph, 
and Martha Baker married John Lashell, now living in the city of Fulton. 
Mary and Ora Frost, and other white women, came soon after the above. 

The first white child born in Fulton was a son of Robert and Phcebe Booth, 
the birth occurring in the winter of 1838. He was named John Fulton Booth, 
and died about three years ago in Decatur county, Iowa. 

The first death and burial in Fulton was that of Miss P]lizabeth Skinner, 
the niece of John W. Baker who had come out with him from Maryland in 1836. 
She died of consumption in January, 1837, at the age of 22 years. She had been 
suffering with this disease for several years, and thought by a change of climate 
the hand of the fell destroyer could be averted, but his grasp was too firmly 
fixed; and away from her old Maryland home and in the then far and almost 
uncivilized West, she yielded up her young life. The funeral was a very prim- 
itive one, the coffin being made from an old wagon box, and the remains conveyed 
to their last resting place in an open wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen. There 
was such a dearth of nails and other material for the proper construction of a 
coffin that John W. Baker was compelled to sit in the wagon and hold it together, 
while John Baker and Edward Rolph drove the oxen on the way from the house 
to the burial place. The interment was made on the high bluff nearly opposite 
where Culbertson, Smith & Cos. saw mill now stands, and on that bold point far 
above the beautiful river, on a bleak, cold day in midwinter, over forty years ago, 
the first white person in Fulton was laid to rest. The grave was made by the 
side of a young Indian child who had been buried a short time before. Not long 
after the burial of Miss Skinner a Dr. Fowler, and a little German boy who had 
been drowned in the river, were buried there, and we believe the spot was used 
as a burying ground until the present cemetery was laid out. 

As faithful chroniclers we must not forget the first marriage which occur- 
red in the town. Although there were no marriage bells to merrily peal forth 
an announcement of the happy event, yet we have no doubt the occasion was 
one of as great rejoicing, and the twain as supremely happy as though the bride's 
trosseau had been brought from Paris, the wedding presents costly and innu- 
merable, and a thousand bells had rung out .their merry peals of joy from a 
thousand towers. The fortunate couple were Edward Rolph and Frances Ba- 
ker, and the marriage took place at the house of John Baker in the fall of 
1837, Moses Barlow, Justice of the Peace, performing the ceremony. Mrs Dan- 
iel Reed supervised the culinary department for the occasion, and made a bride's 
cake which called forth the wonder and astonishment of all. So highly pleased 
was the bride with its richness and ornamental beauty, that she called all of her 
friends, as fast as they arrived, into Mrs. Reed's room to look at and admire it 
with her. Those who were present at the wedding, and are now living, say they 
could not conceive how Mrs. Reed could make such a cake with the limited ma- 
terial for so necessary an appendage to a marriage feast, then to be had. They 


can only account for it from the fact that Mrs. Reed possessed the skill of mak- 
ing the most toothsome viands from the scantiest larder — a skill which no other 
lady then possessed in this section of the country, and probably none since. 
Invitations to the wedding were extended to every man, woman and child for 
miles around, and it is said that every one attended except a Mrs. Foote, who 
was detained at home on account of illness. It was in every sense of the word 
a pioneer wedding, and celebrated as only pioneers of that day could celebrate 
an event of the kind. 

The following facts of interest relating to the Precinct and Township of 
Fulton are gleaned from the records on file at the County Clerk's office, in 
Morrison : 

At a meeting of the County Commissioners held at the house of William 
D. Dudley, in Lyndon, May 16, 1839, it was ordered that Road District No. 10 
shall embrace all the territory in Fulton Precinct, and that John Baker be ap- 
pointed Supervisor. At the same meeting it was ordered that Hosea Jacobs be 
appointed Assessor of the Precinct. The books afterwards show that Mr. 
Jacobs received $8 for four day's work in assessing. 

On May 11, 1839, the following petition was received by the County Com- 
missioners from several of the citizens of Fulton : 

Fulton City Petition vs. License and Ardent Spirits. To the County Com- 
missioners of Whiteside county : We, the subscribers, respectfully petition 
your Honorable Coui-t that no license be granted in Fulton Precinct for retailing 
ardent spirits by the drink. Signed : Daniel Reed. William Ross, Richard L. 
Mills, Elijah K. Webb, John K. Prentiss, Hollis Chenery, A. Phelps, W. H. 
Knight, W^. Y. Ives, Henry Bond, Lewis Graves, H. F. Rice, Moses W. Jenks, 
Reuben S. Rhodes, Nathan Scott, John Morgan. 

The presentation of this petition was the first public movement in White- 
side county against the sale of intoxicating liquor, and at that day it required 
some nerve to battle against the almost universal custom of dealing in ardent 
spirits, and more especially in pioneer settlements. Four of the signers to the 
petition still reside in and near Fulton, to wit : Dr. Daniel Reed, W. Y. Ives, 
William H. Knight and Henry Bond. The petition was not favorably received 
by the County Commissioners. 

On the 2d of July, 1839, the County Commissioners were asked to lay 
out a road from Fulton to Lyndon, by the way of Delhi, and John Baker, C G. 
WoodruflF, and William Farrington were appointed road viewers. The viewers 
were to serve without pay to the county. 

'At the meeting of the Commissioners in December, 1839, it was ordered 
that Caleb Clark be licensed to keep a public house in Fulton City by paying $25 
into the Clerk's office. 

On the 1st of June, 1840, James McCoy entered a complaint before the 
Commissioners against Daniel Reed, A. M. Wing and Caleb Clark for neglect in 
keeping a ferry boat across the Mississippi, at Fulton. Upon appearing before 
the Commissioners' Court the defendants' coun.sel made a motion to quash for 
variance between the summons and complaint. The motion was overruled, but 
after a hearing the case was dismissed. 

On the 8th of June, 1841, it was ordered by the Commissioners that Royal 
Jacobs have three additional months in which to complete the horse ferry boat 
then in progress of building at Fulton. 

On the 7th of September, 1842, a writ was issued by Guy Ray, Clerk of 
the County Commissioners' Court, by order of said court, to the sherifl" of the 
county, upon application of James McCoy, commanding him to summon twelve 
good and lawful men of the county to meet on the 30th day of September, 1842, 


on the southeast^ of southwest ^ of Section 11, township 22 north of range 3 
east of 4th principal meridian , the property of said James McCoy, and then and 
there set apart by metes and bounds so much land as will be sufficient to erect 
a mill dam in the stream of Johnson's creek, on said land, to propel a saw mill 
and such other mills or machinery as the said McCoy or his assigns may erect 
thereon, and also view and assess the damages that others may sustain by reason 
of the overflow of any land or lands of any other person or persons by reason of 
the erection of said dam, and report the same to the County Commissioners' 
Court at the next term thereof. The writ was duly served by Henry C. Fel- 
lows, Deputy Sheriff. The jury reported in favor of the writ, and proceeded to 
set apart by metes and bounds land sufficient to build a saw mill, or such other 
mills and machinery as James McCoy or his assigns may deem meet to erect; 
also to erect a dam in the stream of Johnson's creek to propel such mill, mills 
or machinery. The jury also allowed by their inquest that the dam be raised 
twelve feet, provided it does not flow the water over the natural bank at the 
junction of Otter and Johnson's creeks; but if it should do so, then it is not to 
be raised higher than to raise the water to the top of said creek bank. It was 
found that about six acres of the lands of Joseph Fowler, at the junction of the 
two creeks, would be overflowed, audit was therefore adjudged that the sum of 
$8 should be paid to said Fowler. 

At the election held on the 3d of April, 1849, upon the question of the 
removal of the County Seat, Fulton Precinct gave 11 votes for Sterling and 71 
for Lyndon. 

The records of the Town Clerk show that the first meeting under the town- 
ship organization law was held at the house of Wilson S. Wright, on the 6th 
day of April, 1852. Charles J. Johnson was chosen Moderator, and James F. 
Booth, Clerk j^ro tern. Forty-one votes were polled, and the following officers 
elected: Supervisor, Wilson S. Wright; Town Clerk, Orlando Sprague; Justices 
of the Peace, Elias Sage and Charles J. Johnson; Collector, E. Humphreys; 
Assessor, G. H. Rice; Overseer of Poor, James F. Booth; Commissioners of 
Highways, G. H. Rice, John Masters, Elias Sage; Constables, Warren Bond, 
N. R. Boon. 

At that town meeting it was voted to let hogs run at large; that $100 be 
raised by taxation to defray the expenses of the town for the ensuing year, 
and that a lawful fence be four feet six inches high, the first two feet the 
opening not to exceed four inches, and the next two feet not to exceed ten 

On the 29th of the same month Orlando Sprague resigned his position as 
Town Clerk, and James McCoy was appointed by the Justices of the Peace to 
fill the vacancy. Sterns Ostrander was appointed at the same time Commis- 
sioner of Highways, in place of John Masters who failed to qualify. 

At the second town meeting held at the house of Wilson S. Wright on the 
5th of April, 1853, only 26 votes were polled. 

The following is a list of town officers to date: 

Supervisors:— \m2-%'i^\\hon S.Wright; 1854-'55, A. W. Benton; 1856, 
W. C. Snyder; 1857, H. C. Fellows; 1858, C. N. Wheeler; 1859-60, H. C. Fel- 
lows; 1861-'62, I. G. Gates; 1863-'64, H. C. Fellows; 1865, John Phelps; 
1866, I. G. Gates; 1867, John Dyer; 1868-'69, B. Robinson; 1870, H. C. Fel- 
lows; 1871, Richard Green: Mr. G. resigned, and H. C. Fellows was appointed; 
1872, H. C. Fellows; 1873-'74, A. R. McCoy: Mr. McC. resigned during the 
year, having been elected a Representative to the Legislature, and J. C. Mitoh- 
ell was appointed; 1875, John Dyer; 1876-77, W. Y. Wetzell. 

Town Clerks .—1852, Orlando Sprague; 1853-'54, Jas. F. Booth; 1855, L. 



B. Warner: 1856, J. F. Booth; 1857-'58, Geo. S. Phelps; 1859, N. F. Webb; 
1860-'61. J. T. Wiswell; 1862, J. F. Booth; 1863, J. B. Peabody; 1864, W.E. 
Bassett; 1865, Wesley West; 1866-67, Daniel Reed; 1868-70, E. Summers; 
1871, A. R. McCoy; 1872, Wm. C. Green 2d; 1873, John Exley; 1874-75, 
Thos. H. Smith; 1876, L. F. Puffer; 1877, S. V. Boyer. 

Assessors .—1852, G. H. Rice; 1853, E. Summers; 1854-"56, H. C. Fel- 
lows; 1857. John Phelps; 1858, B. S. Gerrish; 1859, Orlando Sprague; 1860, 
J. P. Jacobs; 1861. Orlando Sprague; 1862, H. C. Fellows; 1863, Daniel Reed; 
1864. I. G. Gates; 1865-'66, D. E. Dodge; 1867, E. Summers; 1868-71, C. 
B. Mercereau; 1872, G. W. Padelford; 1873-76, J. C. Mitchell; 1877, Fred. W. 

Collectors .•—1852, E. Humphreys; 1853, R. M. Rockwell; 1854, R. E. 
Benton; 1855, AustinDavis; 1856, J. F. Booth; 1857-59, W. C. Snyder; 1860, 
John Dyer; 1861-'62, Richard Green; 1863-64, W. West; 1865-'66, E. Sum- 
mers; 1867-68, John N. Baird; 1869, J. C. Mitchell; 1870-72, J. W. Smith; 
1873, Wm. C. Green 2d; 1874-76, E. D. Chapman; 1877, C. L. Marcellus. 

Justices of the Peace : — 1852, E. Sage, Chas. J. Johnson; 1854, H. C. Fel- 
lows, E. Summers; 1856, J, M. Brown, R. Patrick; 1858, R. M. Rockwell, E. 
Summers; 1859, H. C. Fellows, E. Summers; 1860, E. Summers, Wesley West; 
1864, E. Summers, Wesley West; 1866, Daniel Reed; 1868, E. Summers, J. N. 
Baird; 1869, A. W. Plumley; 1872, H. C. Fellows, John Dyer; 1873, Abner 
Ustick, J. C. Mitchell; 1876, Thos H. Smith, N. E. Wheeler; 1877, Thos. H. 
Smith, George Terwilliger. 

School district No. 2 is situated in the northeast part of the township, near 
where Norman E. Wheeler resides. The school building is a large one, and sup- 
plied with good seats and apparatus. Being the only school district out of the 
city, the attendance of scholars, especially during the fall and winter months, is 
sufficient to demand the services of two teachers. The present teachers are 
Mr. James Kirk. Principal, and Miss Jennie Linn, Assistant. 

The township contains 4,191 acres of improved lands, and 7,936 of unim- 
proved. Of improved lots there are 360, and of unimproved 750. The number 
of horses in the town as shown by the Assessor's book for 1877, is 324; cattle 
619; mules and asses 14; sheep 8; hogs 524; carriages and wagons 190; sewing 
and knitting machines 176; piano fortes 29; melodeons and organs 29. Total 
value of lands, lots and personal property, $486,909; value of railroad property 
$51,747. Total assessed value of all property in 1877, $333,368. 

The population of the township outside the city in 1870, was 287, of which 
196 were of native birth, and 91 of foreign birth. The present population out- 
side the city is estimated at 400. 

History of the City of Fulton. 
The city of Fulton is beautifully situated on the Narrows of the Mississip- 
pi River, 136 miles almost due west from Chicago. The business portion of the 
town is mostly on ground of a sufficient height above the river bank to preclude 
any danger from overflow. The bluffs, at the nortli and oast of the business 
part, present elegant sites for dwellings, and many of them are occupied. The 
view from them is magnificent, embi-acing the Narrows of the river, the cities 
of Lyons and Clinton on the Iowa shore, with the bluffs back of them, upon 
which are many fine residences, as well as a wide stretch of country in the county 
of Whiteside. Many of these residences are notable for their beauty and ele- 
gance. The streets of the city vary in width from 60 to 100 feet, many of the 
resident ones being bordered by long lines of shade trees, giving them ((uite a 
forest like appearance. Much attention has been given to render the business 


center attractive, the buildings for the most part being large, handsome, and 
built of brick. The general healthfulness of the place is a matter never contro- 
verted, and is accounted for by its favorable location, the excellence of the 
water, and the enforced cleanliness of the city. The commercial advantages of 
Fulton, it has been truly said, are not surpassed by any point on the Upper Mis- 
sissippi. Directly west of Chicago, and its nearest approach to the river where 
one of the greatest railroads on the continent crosses, on the line to California, 
it offers unequaled facilities for western traffic. The Western Union Railroad 
running upon the eastern bank of the river opens communication north and south, 
besides connecting with the coal beds in Rock Island county and throughout the 
State. A branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad opens more 
direct communication with the interior of the State. The bridge crossing a lit- 
tle south of the city furnishes ready connection with the numerous railroads 
traversing Iowa and the vast regions west of the Mississippi. Besides these 
railroads the river furnishes great advantages for transportation, and during the 
season is largely used. All the materials for building are abundant. Stone of 
fine quality is conveniently found; the limestone furnishes an excellent quality 
of lime; the brickyards make a superior order of brick, and in the lumber yai'ds 
are found huge piles of lumber. As a point for manufacturing and commerci- 
al purposes Fulton has no superior on the river. 

The original owners of the real estate upon which the city now stands were 
John Baker, Henry C. Fellows, James McCoy, Alvin Humphreys, George W. 
Kellogg, John B. Jenkins, Daniel Reed, R. J. Jenks, Jeremiah Humphreys, 
Lyman Blake, John W. Baker, Ed. Rolph and some others. The land was pur- 
chased of the Government in 1840. Fulton was organized as a village in 1855 
and the first trustees were Henry C. Fellows, Dr. W. C. Snyder, Dr. A. W. 
Benton, but we have been unable to get at any records showing the balance of 
■its officers under that organization, or other facts as to its municipal history. In 
1859 it became a city under a special charter granted that year by the General 
Assembly. The book of records, together with all documents, ordinances, etc., 
belonging to the city were destroyed by fire on the 26th of March, 1875, so that 
but very few facts in relation to that part of the history of Fulton can be ob- 
tained. Through the kindness of Mr. John Phelps, however, we have been en- 
abled to obtain the names of the different Mayors, Aldermen and City Clerks. 
They are as follows : 

1859 — Mayor, James McCoy; Aldermen, Leander Smith, David E. Dodge, 
Lyman Blake, Chas. A. Chace; City Clerk, Everett A. Ingalls. 

I860 — Mayor, Irving G. Gates; Aldermen, Benj. S. Gerrish, George T. 
Ford; City Clerk, Jerome T. Wiswell. 

1861— Mayor, George T. Smith; Aldermen, Edwin P. Welle;?, L. E. Durvea; 
City Clerk, J. T. Wiswell. 

1862 — Mayor, James McCoy; Aldermen, Charles B. Mercereau, David Mc- 
Cartney; City Clerk, J. T. Wiswell. 

1863— Mayor, David E. Dodge; Aldermen, H. P. Wiborg, R. H. Adams; 
City Clerk, Wm. E. Bassett. 

1864-'65 — Mayor, James McCoy; Aldermen, J. P. Rice, Michael Kennedy; 
City Clerk, Wm. E. Bassett. 

1866 — Mayor, W. C. Snyder. Dr. Snyder resigned soon after the election, 
and C. N. Wheeler was elected to fill the vacancy. Aldermen, B. Robinson, S. 
Needham, A. A. Wheeler, C. B. Benedict. 

1867— Mayor, J. P. Linn; Aldermen, John Phelps, C. W. Aylesworth, 
George Eckert. 


1868 — Mayor, C. A. Griswold; Aldermen, David E. Dodge, Orlando 
Sprague, A. A. Wheeler; City Clerk, George W. Padelford. 

1869— Mayor, C. N. Wheeler; Aldermen, Orlando Sprague, L. H. Potter, 
C. A. Winslow, John Dyer, A. A. Wheeler, J. M. Fay; City Clerk, George W. 

1870 — Mayor, R. H. Adams; Aldermen, Z. M. Church, J. M. Startzman, 
E. W. Dutcher, Peter Kitchen; City Clerk, George W. Padelford. 

1871 — Mayor, R. H. Adams; xVldermen, L. H. Potter, Wm. Kitchen, F. L. 
Norton; City Clerk, George W. Padelford. 

1872— Mayor, R. H. Adams; Aldermen, Charles E. Langford, Fred W. 
Pearson. John Downs; City Clerk, George W. Padelford. 

1873 — Mayor, Almon A. Wheeler; Aldermen, Thomas Taylor, A. D. Mitch- 
ell, J. M. Fay; City Clerk, L. F. Puffer. 

1874 — Mayor, Wm. C. Green; Aldermen, Patrick Dorsey, James W. Smith, 
Daniel Daly; City Clerk, George Terwilliger. 

1875 — Mayor, William Y. Wetzell; Aldermen, Lucian S. Kinney, A. D. 
Mitchell, John C. Mitchell; City Clerk, George Terwilliger. 

1876 — Mayor, William Y. Wetzell; Aldermen, John Stuart, James W. 
Smith, Daniel Daly; City Clerk, George Terwilliger. 

1877 — Mayor, James W. Smith; Aldermen, Robert B. Myers, A. D. Mitch- 
ell, Rheimer Kahler, John Downs; City Clerk, T. J. Pickett, Jr. 

The first building put up within the limits of the present city of Fulton 
was a small one of hewn logs, on the bank of the river a little north of where 
Bachelder's pottery now stands. It was built in 1837, the work being done by 
the men then in the settlement, although the ownership was claimed by John 
Baker. It was erected originally for a store, but during the first summer was 
used by James McCoy, Henry C. Fellows, George Kellogg, John B. Jenkins and 
R. J. Jenks as a bachelor's hall. These bachelor halls were necessary institu- 
tions throughout the West at that period. Large numbers of those who sought 
the then comparatively unknown wilds and prairies of the Upper Mississippi 
Valley, were young men without families, and very many of them with limited 
means, if any at all, and for the sake of economy, and in many instances of 
necessity, banded together and occupied dwellings which could be the most 
easily and cheaply obtained. In these they resided until by their labor and 
industry, homes of their own could be procured. Many of them can now look 
back to these old bachelor halls with feelings of the keenest pleasure. They 
were young, hardy, and enthusiastic, and the difficulties and inconveniences of 
pioneer life only added zest to the situation. 

The first store in the place was opened in the building above referred to, in 
the fall of 1837, by John W. Baker and Moses Barlow. It was a general 
country store, and was kept by them until the next spring, when they sold to a 
firm by the name of Church & Wing, who continued the business about a year. 
Isaac Wicksom also put up a building, and opened a grocery store that year. 
It was a frame building, and stood about four rods north of Mr. W. P. Hall's 
present residence. He kept the store about two years. 

The first frame building was erected by John W. Baker during the summer 
of 1838. It stood on the present premises of H. C. Fellows, Esq., on the 
corner of Base and Ferry streets. Mr. Baker occupied this building for about 
two years, and then sold it to Mr. Edward Cowdrey. The second frame building 
was put up by Isaac Wicksom as a store, as mentioned above, and the third by 
Rev. John Prentiss. The building of Mr. Prentiss stood near the location of 
Mr. John Phelps' present residence. The next year, 1839, a dozen or more 
buildings were erected, all of them in the same vicinity as those of the previous 


year. In fact, for quite a period the village of Fulton was confined to that 
locality, the streets which now almost wholly monopolize trade and other 
business being then covered with a thick growth of brush interspersed here and 
there with forest trees. 

The first hotel was built and kept by llobert Booth, and was at the start a 
very primitive concern. Mr. Booth commenced putting up, or rather putting 
down the hotel in the spring of 1838. He first dug a hole in the ground and 
sided it up with small logs, the upper part of which extended but a couple of 
feet above the ground, and filled the chinks with clay, spaces being left here 
and there above ground for lights. The room thus made, was then partitioned 
into smaller ones, a roof placed over the (w)hole, some necessary furniture and 
bedding brought in, and the underground hotel was ready for guests. 
Almost from the start he had as many regular boarders and transient guests as he 
could accommodate, and in a little over a year, felt rich enough to build farther up 
towards the clouds, and when he had finished was the possessor of a very nice 
two and a half story hotel besides the original underground part. His excellent 
table gave him popularity far and near. He kept the hotel for about five years, and 
then sold it to Col. Johnson, Mrs. R. S. Sayre's father, who continued it as long 
as he lived, and then it passed into the possession of Wilson S. Wright. A hotel 
was also started in 1839 by A. M. Wing, in a building which stood on the bank 
of the river, just north of the present pottery of Mr. Bachelder. This was run 
about a year. In 1841 John W. Baker built a hotel near the cottonwood tree 
now standing in the lumber yard of Langford & Hall, and kept it for a short 
time, and then sold it to John Baker, who afterwards transferred it, together 
with his other real estate interest in Fulton, to Augustin Phelps. These were 
the original hostelries in Fulton. 

The first dry goods, and general country store, was opened in the spring of 
1839, by Chenery & Phelps, in a large building a little north of the present 
pottery. They were both Massachusetts men. Chenery came out first in 1838 
on a prospecting tour, and becoming satisfied that the point was a good one for 
business, arranged with Mr. John Baker that if he would erect a suitable build- 
ing the firm would come out the next season and open a store. In accordance 
with this agreement, Mr. Baker put up the building, and Chenery & Phelps 
took possession of it at the time just stated, and filled it with goods. They 
remained in it about four years, and then built one of their own a little to the 
south of it. The firm continued until 1844 when Mr. Chenery disposed of all 
his interest in the store, together with his other property in the place, to Mr. 
Phelps, and went back to^Massachusetts. Messrs. Chenery & Phelps did a large 
wholesaling and retailing business, as well as dealing largely in grain, pork, and 
produce. They paid good prices for whatever they purchased, and hence drew 
to their establishment farmers and producers for many mil^s back in the 
county. Smaller storekeepers could also buy from them at rates which made 
it an object to go to Fulton instead of elsewhere for their supply of goods. In 
1845 Mr. John Phelps became a partner of Augustin Phelps, and the two 
continued the business until 1849, when the latter died suddenly of cholera at 
the city of Syracuse, N. Y., while on his way to the eastern cities to purchase 
stock. Mr. Chenery died the following February at his home in Montague, 
Franklin county, Massachusetts. Both were men of great energy, admirable 
business talents, social in their manners, strictly honest in their dealings, true 
in their friendships, and broad and liberal in their views. Such men are an 
advantage to any town. 

The first brick building was put up in 1847, and still stands at the corner 
of Base and Ferry streets. It waa originally used for a blacksmith shop, E. 


Summers, Esq., occupying it for quite a period. It is now occupied by D. C. 
Goble as a stable. The next brick was built for a residence in 1849 by a mason 
named Quinlan. and stands on the northeast corner of Cherry and River streets. 
It is now owned and occupied by Mr. D. E. Dodge as a restaurant and confec- 
tionery store. The third brick was erected by Messrs. McCoy and Phelps for a 
printing office. It stands on the southeast corner of Short and Union streets, 
and is now owned and occupied by Mr. Chas. D. Rose as a dwelling. The stone 
school house, now the city calaboose, was put up in 1847. 

The first mail from Dixon to Fulton was brought by Ezekiel Kilgour, by 
the way of the Sterling, Morrison and Fulton road. From Dixon to Sterling 
the mail was carried by an ox team, and from the latter place to Fulton by horse. 
This primitive way of carrying the mail was continued for some years. 

Fulton did not grow very rapidly until 1851, when the project of building 
a railroad from the Lakes directly west to the nearest point on the Mississippi 
river was broached. It was found that this nearest point was Fulton, and upon 
that fact being declared the town started forth with new energy. A railroad 
meeting was immediately held at Lyons. The Legislatures of both Illinois and 
Iowa were then in session, but it was concluded to bring the matter first before 
the Legislature of the latter State, and assure the members that if they would 
pass an act for the incorporation of a railroad company to construct a road from 
Lyons to Council Bluffs, a charter would be procured from the Legislature of 
Illinois for a road to intersect the then contemplated Illinois Central Railroad, 
at Dixon. The Lyons meeting was largely attended, and a committee appointed 
to repair at once to Iowa City, at which place the Iowa Legislature was in ses- 
sion, and present the petition for an act of incorporation. This was done, and 
the second day afterwards the act was passed, and had received the Governor's 
signature. This was at once followed by an application to the Illinois Legisla- 
ture for the passage of an act authorizing the construction of a railroad east- 
ward from Fulton. Hon. James McCoy placed the subject before the Legis- 
lature, and procured before the adjournment of that body a charter for the Mis- 
sissippi & Rock River Junction Railroad. It was provided by the charter that 
books of subscription to the capital stock should be opened within one year 
after the passage of the act. In the month of January, 1852, they were accord- 
ingly opened, and nearly all the stock subscribed in a short time. 

On the 1st of May, 1852, a meeting of the stockholders convened at Union 
Grove for the purpose of electing a President and Directors, which resulted as 
follows: President, James McCoy; Directors, J. T. Atkinson,, Royal Jacobs, 
Chas. Dement, Benj. Lake, Elijah Buell, John Phelps and A. W. Benton. In 
the month of January, 1853, the Directors let the contract for building the 
road, and on the 8th of February following the work was commenced. This 
was an auspicious era for the young and struggling town, and many a heart 
throbbed with gladness to note it. In April, 1853, the Michigan Central and 
the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad Companies came forward and took some 
$400,000 stock in the road, thus placing it upon a firm basis. At the annual 
election for officers of the road, held in May of that year, the following were 
chosen: Chas. Dement, President, and John B. Turner, J. H. Burch, E. Peck, 
J. Van Nortwick, James F. Joy, Chas. Dement, James McCoy, Bayard Fowler, 
and Lewis D. Crandall, Directors. 

About this time a railroad was projected from Chicago through the village 
of St. Charles to the Mississippi river, called the St. Charles Air Line Railroad, 
This, however, in a short time passed into the hands of the Galena & Chicago 
Company, and whatever was really of avail in carrying on the road from Chi- 
cago to Fulton was adopted. The Galena & Chicago Company had at that time 


become so far identified with the road, that it was carried on mostly under their 
direction, assuming the name of the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad and 
eventually the Chicago & Northwestern llailroad. 

In 1857 two other roads from Fulton were projected, one connecting with 
the Racine & Mississippi Railroad, near Mt. Carroll on the north, and the other 
with the so-called Camanche, Albany & Mendota Railroad at Prophetstown, on 
the south. The first road was built, although considerably changed from the 
original project, and is now known as the Western Union Railroad. The latter 
project flashed in the pan. A road, however, now runs from Fulton through 
Prophetstown, and is known as the Mendota & Prophetstown branch of the 
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. 

When the shovel first cut the prairie turf for the railroad track to Fulton, 
there were probably not over 400 inhabitants within the limits of the corpora- 
tion, but within a few years thereafter there were at least six times that num- 
ber. A large number of stores of all kinds were built; hotels and dwellings 
were erected, and churches and public and private schools started. The Dement 
House was built by Chas., Dement in 1855, and at that day was the largest hotel 
west of Chicago. The main building is 96 by 100 feet in size, and five stories 
high including the basement. The walls are stone, 23 inches in thickness, and 
substantially made. The wing was originally 70 feet in length and two stories 
high. The dining room was a spacious one, and the hotel fitted with all the 
modern conveniences known at the time. For some time after it was opened it 
was filled to repletion with guests, and many were the gay times held within its 
walls. The building of the bridge at Clinton, the removal of the passenger 
depot to its present position, and the building of the railroad shops at Clinton, 
however, gave Fulton the severest blow it ever had, and from which it has not 
as yet recovered. 

The first ferrying done betAveen Fulton and Lyons was by a skiff, which 
seems to have been used as required by the few citizens who then resided in 
Fulton. The travel, however, soon increased to such an extent as to demand 
much larger facilities, and in 1838 a company consisting of John Baker, Dr. 
Daniel Reed, M. W. Jenks and A. and J. Humphreys, obtained a license to run 
a flat boat ferry. This ferry, it appears, soon afterwards passed into the hands 
of A. M. Wing, and then into those of Royal Jacobs, a nephew of Hosea Jacobs. 
The latter ran it until about 18-1:4, when it was purchased by Augustin Phelps, 
who began for the first time to use horse power in propelling the boat across 
the stream, building a boat especially for the purpose. In 1850 Wm. H. Kuight 
bought Mr. Phelps' interest, and substituted steam power for horse muscle. 
The steamer was called "The Sailor,'.' and was purchased at New Albany, Indi- 
ana. It was a small craft, but answered the purpose very well. iNIr. Knight 
ran the ferry for five years, and then sold to John P. Knight and C. C. John- 
son, who in turn, after running it a few months, sold to Allen & White, of 
Davenport, Iowa. The present owner is Capt. Bentley, of Lyons, and the 
steamer used a large and commodious one. Opposition ferries started up sev- 
eral times, but did not maintain the contest very long at either time. On the 
2d of March, 1840, Caleb Clark obtained a license to run a ferry between Fulton 
and Lyons, his schedule of prices being fixed at 25 cents per footman; man and 
horse, 75 cents; cattle, 25 cents per head; two wheel carriage, $1; yoke of oxen 
and wagon loaded, $1.50; additional ox or horse, 25 cents; sheep, 12^ cents; one 
horse and wagon, $1. Geo. W. Sayre got a license in February, 1857, to run a 
steam ferry from Fulton to Lyons, and some others before that time tried to 
make a fortune at the ferry business, but it is not recorded that any succeeded. 
A ferry also ran for a short time between Fulton and Clinton. 


The postoffice at Fulton was established in 1838, imder the administration 
of President Martin A^an Buren, and the original settler, Mr. John Baker, ap- 
pointed Postmaster. Mr. Baker held the position to the best information 
received until 1841, when Hollis Chenery was appointed, and he in turn was 
succeeded by Augustin Phelps, who retained the place until 18-19, when a 
vacancy was caused by his death, and John Phelps was appointed. The latter 
held the office until 1853, when Franklin Pierce became President. He then 
gave way to Wilson S. Wright. From that time until the appointment of Dr. 
W. C. Snyder, in May, 1861, the following gentlemen respectively have held 
the position: Geo. S. Phelps, John J. Jones, Octavius Leigh ton and E. P. 
Welles. From the time Mr. John Phelps left the position until the appoint- 
ment of Dr. Snyder, the location of the postoffice was so frec[uently clianged 
that it gave rise to the expression that it was carried around on wheels, and 
that the wheels were constantly moving, no one knowing where they could be 
found the next morning. Dr. Snyder righted this public inconvenience by plac- 
ing the office in his own building, and fitting it up at his own expense in a man- 
ner to fully meet the wants of the community. The present office is admirably 
arranged for the convenience of the public, and in all its appointments one of 
the neatest and most finely constructed in this part of the country. 

Fulton has been widely known for many years as one of the great lumber 
points on the Upper Mississippi river. The product annually has been many 
million feet, and this has been disposed of to purchasers for long distances 
around. The quality has always been excellent, as experienced proprietors have 
had charge of the mills — men who knew how to buy good logs, and how to saw 
them. Parties desiring lumber in large or small quantities never missed of ob- 
taining at the Fulton yards just what they wanted, and at reasonable prices. 
The beginning of the lumber business in Fulton, however, like other places, was 
limited in extent. The first saw mill was built by John Masters on the Cattail 
Slough quite a distance above Culbertson, Smith & Co.'s present mill, and was 
run by water power. It was built in 1845. Mr. Masters continued the busi- 
ness for a while, and then sold a half interest to a Mr. McKenzie, but the two 
abandoned it after some unsuccessful efforts to make it pay. Finally a Mr. 
Ritchie took hold of it and ran it for some time, when it was taken down. 

The next saw mill was put up by Messrs. Sprague & Hamilton, and was 
situated near Base street. It was run by horse power, and had a rotary saw, 
and sawed some logs. It was principally used, however, for manufacturing 
shingles. About the same time Sprague & Lamberton had a chair and bed- 
stead manufactory situated a little east of where the residence of Mr. E. Sum- 
mers now stands. In 1854 Chas. Dement put up the saw mill now owned by 
Culbertson, Smith & Co. Mr.'Dement ran the mill for four or five years, when 
it passed into the hands of Col. Todd, and afterwards into those of Chas. Her- 
rick and others. In 1863 it was purchased by W. P. Culbertson and Dr. Lean- 
der Smith, the latter afterwards selling his interest to Ed. Welles. The firm 
then became Culbertson & Welles, and the mill was run by them for about three 
years. In 1869 Dr. Smith and J. Martin Fay bought the interest of Mr. Welles, 
and a firm was then formed under the name of Culbertsqn, Smith k Co., and so 
remained until 1876, when it was dissolved. The mill has a capacity of turn- 
ing out 25,000 feet of lumber, 12,000 shingles, and 8,000 lath per day. The 
average per season is about 3,000,000 feet. 

• The first mill put up where Langford & Hall's large mill now stands, was 
built by Chas. E. Langford in 1865. It was 24 feet by 60, and had one single 
rotary and a muley saw to do the work. In the following year Warren P. Hall 
became a partner, and the mill was increased greatly in size and capacity, so 


that instead of turning out from seven to ten hundred thousand feet of lumber 
annually, as the original one did, it turned out over three million feet. Yet 
with that capacity it was found inadequate to the demands made upon the pro- 
prietors for lumber. In 1875 they commenced the erection of a new mill of 
ample dimensions, and completed it in the latter part of 1876. We give a de- 
scription of this mill as it is one of the largest and most thoroughly furnished 
upon the river. The main building is two stories high. The lower or first story 
is 40 by 128 feet, and contains the shafting, friction and belt pulleys, and also 
the planing, moulding and siding mills, with some small machines for resawing. 
The upper or second story is 40 by 144 feet, with an addition on the north side 
10 by 80' feet, and contains a fifty inch gang with thirty-two saws, and a double 
rotary, the two having a capacity of 75,000 feet of lumber per day of ten hours. 
Connected with these are a case of live rollers, a log transfer, board transfer, 
Moezinger edger, lumber trimmer, slab saw, and two edging cutter saws. In 
the same story is also the lath mill with capacity for cutting 15,000 lath per 
day of ten hours. On the southeast corner of the main building is an addition 
22 by 26 feet, which contains the- shingle mill. The shingles are sawed in the 
second story of this addition, and then sent down to the first, where they are 
jointed and packed ready for market. This mill has a capacity for cutting 20,- 
000 shingles per day. Next to this addition on the west is the boiler room, 37 
by 42 feet, constructed of brick, with iron roof. In this building are four boil- 
ers, 42 inches in diameter, and 20 feet long, set into an arch of brick. Over the 
arch is a saw dust conveyer, running so as to bring the saw dust from the dif- 
ferent machines in the main building, and deposit it in the fire through iron 
spouts. West of the boiler room is the engine room, 18 by 30 feet, also con- 
structed of brick, with iron roof. This room contains the engine, 22 by 30 
inches, which gives power enough to drive all the machinery in the establish- 
ment satisfactorily, besides a fly or balance wheel 14 feet in diameter, and 
weighing 11,300 pounds, and a lifting and force pump by which water is drawn 
from the river and forced into the tank over the boilers, and also through pipes 
to barrels on the main building for protection against fire. The engine room 
also contains another pump by which water is forced through the Berryman 
heater into the boilers. The cost of the mills and machinery complete was $30,- 
000. Messrs. Langford & Hall employ a large number of hands in their mills 
and yard, many of whom remain during the entire year. 

The Fulton stoneware manufactory is situated on the bank of the river 
just north of Langford & Hall's extensive steam saw and planing mills. The 
manufacture of stoneware in this establishment was commenced in July, 1866, 
by Edward A. Tolman. In the fall of that year J. Davis bought a one-half in- 
terest, and in February, 1867, Wm. Aikman a one-third interest, and the three 
continued the business until August, 1867. when L. Bendle purchased the inter- 
est of Davis and Aikman, and the firm became Bendle & Tolman. Under this 
firm the business was carried on until April 13, 1868. when C. B. Bachelder 
purchased the interest of E. A. Tolman, and the firm name was changed to 
Bachelder & Bendle, and so continued until September 20, 1868, when Mr. 
Bachelder obtained the entire interest, which he has held ever since. Since 
Mr. Bachelder has had entire control of the establishment an average of 100,- 
000 gallons of ware have been manufactured annually, a large proportion of 
which is sold in the vicinity, although considerable of it goes to Minnesota and 
Wisconsin, each year gaining in celebrity for durability of make and beauty of 
finish. The most of the clay used comes from Boone. Iowa, and the balance 
from Illinois, the latter being also excellent in quality. Mr. Bachelder has been 
for some time past making large quantities of flower pots of all kinds in con- 


nection with his other ware. These are painted and ornamented in a beautiful 
manner. His green glazed flower pots are the only ones manufactured in this 
country, and are extensively sold. He is also making the best open lava spit- 
toons in the market. Altogether, the work turned out at this manufactory 
ranks high in the market for its superiority, durability and beauty. 

In addition to the manufactories and mills spoken of , we may add the large 
carriage manufactory and blacksmithing establishment of J. & W. Stuart. Mr. 
John Stuart, the senior member of the firm, commenced first in 1862 in a diminu- 
tive building on the ground where the establishment now stands. About eleven 
years ago he put up an additional building, and soon followed that by others, 
until there are now five in all. The carriages turned out at this establishment 
are of great beauty, combined with strength and durability, and find a ready sale, 
purchasers coming from all parts of the country. In 1873 William Stuart pur- 
chased an interest, and the firm became J. & W. Stuart. The Messrs. Stuart 
keep a large number of hands constantly employed. 

Mr. Kobert B. Myers has also a carriage and wagon manufactory, doing 
mostly custom work. His wagons and carriages are of excellent make and 

^Iv: P. H. Cossman carries on an extensive machine and blacksmithing es- 
tablishment. He makes and repairs all kinds of machinery, excepting engines 
and some of the larger kinds of work. He has several inventions of his own 
which he uses to decided advantage in his business. 

Gerten Bros, and the Messrs. Spark have each a good sized pipe manufac- 
tory, and each of them turn out annually a large number of boxes of pipes, which 
find a market in all sections of the country. 

The Fulton Steam Flouring Mill was erected in 1874, and was first run by 
Mr. W. H. lloyt. Two years ago Mr. Geo. W. Mathers purchased it, and con- 
ducted the business a short time alone, and then took in his brother as a part- 
ner, the firm becoming Mathers Bros. Both are practical and experienced mil- 
lers, and with an excellent mill and machinery, are manufacturing a fine grade 
of flour, together with corn meal, feed, etc. Their custom work is very heavy. 

In the fall of 1866 the managers of the then consolidated Chicago & 
Northwestern Railway having at that time no track to the Upper JNIississippi, 
and being desirous of carrying to the Chicago market a portion of the pro- 
ducts of the teeming wheat fields of Minnesota, conceived the design of erect- 
ing at Fulton a suitable elevator for the transfer of grain from boats and barges 
to their cars, thereby securing what was then, and what will probably continue 
to be, the shortest rail route from the river to the lakes. The elevator is 40 by 
7(1 feet on the ground, 90 feet high, and covered with iron, making it practically 
fire proof. Attached is a fire brick engine room. It has a working capacity of 
75,000 busliels. The enterprise has proved eminently successful, transferring 
annually an average of 1,500,000 bushels of grain to the cars. It has handled 
as high as 1,000,000 bushels in a season, and during the season of 1876, which, 
it must be recollected, is since the company have had a continuous line of their 
own from the State of Minnesota to Chicago, the receipts at this elevator ag- 
gregated over 1,750,000 bushels. It will undoubtedly continue to be a pay- 
ing investment, for by this way the longest water route coupled with the 
shortest rail route is secured, and no one needs to be told of the great economi- 
cal superiority of water over rail transportation. Although different steam- 
boat lines have from time to time brought grain to the Fulton elevator, 
most of it has come by what is called the Diamond Jo. Line, owned and opera- 
ted by Mr. Joseph Reynolds, familiarly known as "Diamond Jo." The 
Diamond Jo. Line was established at the time the elevator was built 


to run between Fulton and St. Paul and Stillwater. It has had uninterrupted 
connection with the C. & N. W. Railway since that time, notwithstanding the 
many changes of officers the road has experienced during the period. The down 
freight consists principally of wheat and flour, while the up freight transferred 
to the boats at Fulton consists of agricultural implements and general mer- 
chandise, consigned to all known points on the upper river, or points reached 
by rail running back from the river landings. These advantages render Fulton 
one of the best known and most convenient shipping points on the river. An- 
other feature of the grain trade here is to keep constantly on hand at the 
elevator large supplies of Minnesota wheat, which the millers on the Dixon Air 
Line and branches may purchase at any time for the supply of their mills. 

The growth of the city at present is steady, and of a very substantial char- 
acter. The business buildings which have been erected of late years have been 
nearly all brick, and many of the dwelling houses of the same material. The 
number of stores, business places, manufactories and mills at present is quite 
large, and is yearly increasing. The present population is estimated at 2,700. 
Fulton is 7 and 9-lOOths feet above Lake Michigan, and 590 and 9-lOOths feet 
above the level of the sea. These heights are obtained by taking the railroad 
track as a standard. 


Fulton has had its vicissitudes in newspapers in common with other western 
towns. Early in the year 1853, Judge James McCoy and 3Ir. John Phelps 
concluded that the business interests of the town demanded a representative 
in the shape of a weekly paper, especially in view of the railroad enterprises 
which were then in project, and acting upon that conclusion purchased in the 
fall of that year at St. Louis a press and type, which together with some wood 
type obtained at Galena, were to be the outfit for tlie new newspaper and 
job office. The press, however, was sent on so late that the steamer which had 
it on board had to go into winter quarters at Rock Island, on account of the ice, 
and it was not until the next spring, 1854, that it arrived at its place of desti- 
nation. The next thing was to secure a practical printer to publish the paper, 
and conduct the business of the office. The owners could have written the 
editorials and local items if necessary, besides expounding the law and selling 
goods, but they were not at home in setting type, correcting proofs, making up 
forms, and working the press, and had any one came to them for a job, they 
certainly would have made iijoh of it. It therefore became a necessity to get 
some one learned in the art, and the fortunate person proved to be Mr. A. Mc- 
Fadden, of Freeport. Mr. McFadden came on in obedience to call, and after 
some delay succeeded in issuing the first number of the Whiteside Inves- 
tigator in May, 1854. This was the first newspaper published in Whiteside 
county, and was a creditable sheet for that day, and to Messrs. McCoy and 
Phelps great praise should be awarded for the energy displayed, and the means 
expended in securing its publication. The Investigator was published in a new 
two story brick building, erected expressly by these gentlemen for a printing 
office, on the corner of Short and Union streets, and is now owned and occupied 
by Mr. C. D. Rose as a dwelling. Soon after the commencement of the paper, 
Mr. Gr. A. Laighton appeared and purchased an interest in it, and the firm 
became McFadden & Laighton, the former having previously purchased the 
office from Messrs. McCoy and Phelps. Subsequently Mr. Laighton became 
sole proprietor, and changed the name to the Fulton City Advertiser. He made 
considerable improvement in its columns, and with an efficient editorial stafl", 
consisting of Dr. C. A. Griswold, and Messrs Groot and Lewis, new life and 


interest was given to it. In the political campaign of 1856 the Advertiser 
took a stand in favor of Buchanan, the Democratic candidate for President, 
and the former editorial staff withdrew, leaving the duties to Mr. Greenleaf. 
During the time Mr. Laighton conducted the paper, and was Postmaster, he 
became considerably involved, and took leave of absence to see his eastern 
friends, and did not return. The Advertiser office was left in charge of an 
apprentice, and soon thereafter suspended. 

In the summer of 1859 Messrs. G. J. Booth and B. C. Golliday leased the 
establishment, and commenced the publication of the Fulton Weekly Courier. 
At the end of six months this firm dissolved, and Mr. Booth continued the 
Courier individually until the 16th of March, 1863, when he purchased the 
establishment from Mr. Laighton, made considerable improvements, and 
changed the name of the paper to the Fulton Journal, which name has been 
continued to the present. In 1866 Mr. Adoniram J. Booth took a joint interest 
in the office, and the business was thenceforward carried on under the firm 
name of G. J. Booth & Son until March, 1872, when the establishment was 
purchased by George Terwilliger. The Messrs. Booth conducted and main- 
tained the local press in Fulton for a period of neai'ly thirteen years, having 
always at heart the best interests of the place and its citizens. In common 
with other publishers they met now and then with parties who endeavored to 
impugn their motives, and destroy their business, but both paper and publishers 
prospered, and yet continue to live and prosper. 

In March, 1872, the paper and office passed into the hands of George Ter- 
williger as editor and proprietor, and so continued until November 26, 1872, 
when Dr. W. C. Snyder purchased a half interest, Dr. Snyder taking charge of 
the publication and business departments, and Mr. Terwilliger of the editorial 
department. This continued until March, 1876, when Dr. Snyder purchased 
the whole interest, Mr. Terwilliger still remaining as editor. In November, 
1876, Mr. Terwilliger retired, and Dr. Snyder leased the establishment to 
Thomas J. Pickett, Jr., who is at present the editor and publisher of the paper, 
with Miss Annie E. Snyder as assistant editor. In politics the Journal has 
been Republican from the organization of the party, and has always had a good 
circulation in the city and country. 

Other newspapers have been published at different times in Fulton. The 
first was the Fulton Argus by the Messrs. Pratt in 1868. It was printed at the 
Advocate office, in Lyons, and continued only a short time. In 1871, Mr. F. L. 
Norton started the Whiteside Democrat, and published it until a short time 
before his removal to New York State, in 1873. The Democrat was a spicy, 
well edited, local paper. In the campaign of 1872, a paper called the Liberal, 
advocating the election of Horace Greeley, was published by J. M. Finch. 

Churches and Other Organizations. 
Preshyterian Church: — The history of this church involves that of the 
old and new School Presbyterian churches from which it was formed. The history 
of the new school branch is blended with that of the Congregational church 
under three successive titles, from which it sprang. On the 21st of December, 
1839, Rev. John H. Prentiss, of Fulton, formed an organization at the residence 
of Henry Ustick a few miles east of Fulton, called the "First Congregational 
Church of Union Grove," several of the members of which were residents of 
Fulton. The total membership was eleven. Their names were Mr. and Mrs. 
Henry Ustick, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Town, Elijah Town, Miss Eliza Town, Mrs. 
Eliza Prentiss, Mrs. C. A. Adams, Henry F. Rice, and Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Daniel 
Reed. The First Congregational Church of Fulton and Lyons was organized at 


the residence of John Baker, in Fulton, on the 13th of December, 1845. Rev. 
C. Emerson had charge of the church for several years, the services being held 
alternately in Fulton and Lyons. On the 22d of July, 1854, at the stone build- 
ing used successively as a school house, town hall, and a place for the 
confinement of prisoners, the Rev. J. J. Hill formed an organization of persons 
residing in Fulton, called the First Congregational Church of Fulton. The 
membership numbered eight, to-wit: Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Daniel Reed, Mr. and 
Mrs. Gr. H. Rice, Mr. and Mrs. Bradstreet Robinson, Mrs. E. Sayre, Mrs. C. 
Woodward, and Mrs. L. Bassett. Rev. S. N. Grout succeeded Rev. Mr. Hill in 
charge of the church, and during his pastorate the services were held in Reed's 
Hall, over Grinnold & Meeker's store. The first Sunday School of this church 
was organized there in 1855, John Bally acting as Superintendent for five 
years. In 1856 Rev. Josiah Leonard became pastor of the church, and con- 
tinued in this relation twelve years. A church edifice was erected during the 
first year of Mr. Leonard's ministry, which was dedicated on the 20th of June, 
1857. The edifice cost about $6,000. On the 26th of June, 1862, a change in 
the organization was effected, and it was from that time known as the Second 
Presbyterian Church of Fulton. Messrs. W. P. Culbertson, C. P. Pease, Pay- 
son Trask, E. P. Welles, and J. L. Montgomery served as Ruling Elders during 
the existence of this church. The First Presbyterian Church of Fulton was 
organized in 1856 by Rev. W. C. Mason, in Brown's Hall, located over the 
present site of Mr. Peter Kitchen's store. The membership was thirteen, to- 
wit: Mr. and Mrs. David Miller, George Mackay, Mrs. M. McCoy, Mrs. B. 
Exley, Mrs. J. Esterbrook, Mrs. L. Curtiss, Miss S. Vance, Misses Maggie and 
Sarah Brown, Mrs. E. Sayre, and Mr. Sanford. The erection of a church ed- 
ifice was commenced by this congregation in 1856, but it was not completed and 
dedicated until 1864. The cost of the edifice was about $16,000. In 1861, 
Rev. J. B. McClure became pastor of the church, and continued in this relation 
until the fall of 1865. In the spring of 1866, Rev. Albert Keigwin became pastor, 
and remained until the union of the First and Second Presbyterian churches which 
occurred in March, 1868. George Mackay, David Miller, and William Porter, 
served as Ruling Elders of this church during its history. At the time of the 
union of the First and Second Presbyterian churches. Revs. Messrs. Keigwin 
and Leonard resigned their respective charges, and assisted in the organization 
of a new church called the Presbyterian Church of Fulton City. Its member- 
ship numbered 64. In June, 1868, Rev. Henry Keigwin became pastor of this 
church, and continued in that relation until June, 1872. In October, 1873, 
Rev. D. E. Wells became pastor, and has remained from that time until the 
present. Messrs. Payson Trask, David Miller, Samuel Montgomery, W. P. 
Culbertson, E. P. Welles, J. Martin Fay, and A. A. Wheeler have served at 
different periods of the history of the church, as Ruling Elders. The original 
trustees of the church were Messrs. Payson Trask, E. P. Welles, B. Robinson 
David Miller, and C. B. Mercereau. These gentlemen together with Rev. Wm. 
Gay, Dr. D. Reed, Charles N. Wheeler, Almon A. Wheeler, J. M. Fay, Orrin 
Cowles, W. P. Culbertson, and Dr. John Eddy, were the incorporators. Pre- 
vious to the current year, Messrs. C. N. Wheeler, John Hudson, B. W. Brown 
C. A. Winslow, and Dr. Leander Smith have served as Trustees, besides those 
already named. In June, 1868, the congregation voted to occupy the edifice 
formerly owned by the First Presbyterian church, the other church edifice having 
been sold to the Methodist church of Fulton. Improvements were added to 
the edifice between the years 1868 and 1873, amounting to $3,200, including a 
large bell, bell tower and spire. The latter to the height of ninety feet abcfve 
the belfry was blown off in a tornado in September, 1874, the top part of which 


struck the residence of Mr. George Terwilliger, adjoining, causing great damage. 
Fortunately no one was injured. The present membership of this church is 160. 
Probably 200 members have been removed from the membership of these 
several churches by death, change of residence, and other causes. The mem- 
bership of the Sunday School is 225. The most powerful revivals in the history 
of this church occurred in the years 1869 and 1876. As the result of the for- 
mer 86 were added to the church, and of the latter 64. The early history of 
the churches here sketched, was attended with great sacrifices, hardships and 
trials, especially in connection with the erection of the church buildings. 
These churches' have contributed so largely to the welfare of the society in 
Fulton and its vicinity, that they, and the pastors who have ministered to them, 
are entitled to be held in grateful remembrance. 

Methodist Episcopal Church : — Fulton was setoff a circuit by itself in 1856, 
Rev. M. Hanna in charge. The first mention of Fulton as a preaching place we 
find in the year 1844, although local and occasionally circuit preachers had been 
here before that time and held services. Previous to 1856 Fulton had been in- 
cluded in Savanna, Union Grove, and Albany circuits respectively. From 1842 
to 1852 Union Grove circuit included all the appointments in the county. 
Since the organization of the Fulton circuit the following have been the preach- 
ers : 1856, Rev. M. Hanna; 1857, Rev. H. C. Blackwell; 1858 and '59, Rev. 
B. Close; 1860 and '61, Rev. W. H. Smith; 1862 and '63, Rev. M. H. Plumb; 
1864, Revs. E. Brown and A. H. Schoonmaker; 1865, Rev. John Frost; 1866, 
Rev. J. G. Cross; 1867 and '68, Rev. B. Close; 1869 and '70, Rev. C. R. Ford; 
1871 and '72, Rev. G. W. Carr; 1873, Rev. C. Brookins; 1874, Rev. A. C. Frick; 
1875-'76 and "77, Rev. J. S. David. Among the first official members of the 
church were Wm. B. McGovern, Leander and James Russell, Isaac Lathrop, 
Gilbert Booth and S. P. Parker. In the first organization the names of Mrs. 
McCoy, and of her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Russell, appear. On the 
4th of May, 1869, the following Trustees on the part of the church, viz : Thomas 
J. Burch, Cornelius Springer, Warren P. Hall, Abner Ustick, Charles A. Griffin, 
Socrates C. Bates, Simon Stevenson, and William M. Herrold, sold the edifice 
in which the society had been worshipping for some time, to William Y. Wetzell, 
the church in the meantime having purchased the one in which they now wor- 
ship from the Second Presbyterian Society. A Sabbath School was early organ- 
ized by this church, and has continued in effective force under the management 
of its different Superintendents, up to the present time. The membership of 
the church is good, several having been added during the past year. The first 
Sabbath School Library for Fulton was purchased for this church in the spring 
of 1855 by Mr. Robert B. Myers, and brought from Chicago by him at his own 

The Baptist Church : — The Baptist Church of Fulton was organized at the 
old stone school house, now city calaboose, on the 28th of July, 1855, the fol- 
lowing named persons being recognized as members, viz : Rev. A. H. Stark- 
weather, Mrs. A. B. Starkweather, Alfred McFadden, John Peterson, and Mrs. 
Matilda Meeker, all of whom presented letters from other churches. Immedi- 
ately after the organization the following persons were received as members by 
vote of the church, on relation of their experience and faith according to the 
custom of the church in such cases : James F. Booth, Mrs. Maria Booth, and 
Mrs. E. K. Webb, making nine constituent members. Rev. A. H. Starkweather 
was called to the pastoral charge of the church, which relation he sustained 
until June 5, 1858, when he resigned. The church immediately commenced 
regular Sabbath services in Reed's Hall. A Sabbath School was also organized 
which is still continued. The building of an edifice was commenced very soon 


after the church organization, and the basement wall of stone, 36 by 70 feet, 
finished in the following autumn. During the first nine months the church in- 
creased its membership to twenty-three by the addition of the following persons 
by letter and baptism : John TenKyck, D. W. Thomson, Mrs. Mary S. Thom- 
son, Mrs. Charlotte Godfrey, Dr. John Eddy, Mrs. Mary Eddy, Mary J. Hubler, 
Mrs. Sarah E. Lorn, Mrs. Priscilla Johnson, Jason Bennett, Mrs. Abigail Ben- 
nett, Mrs. Mary A. Booth, Mrs. Rachel Davis, John Smith, and Lucy J. Duncan. 
On the 30th of April, 1856, a council of ministers and churches was called, and 
met in Dement Hall, now College Hall, when the church was duly recognized and 
took its place as a part of the Dixon Association. These ceremonies concluded, the 
church elected JamesF. Booth, Deacon; A. McFadden, clerk, and James F. Booth, 
A. McFadden and A. W. Ives, Trustees. During the following summer the house 
of worship was so far advanced as to make the basement available for use, and 
was dedicated to the worship of God in the autumn of 1856. The main part of 
the church is of brick, and in dimension 36 by 70 feet. It was erected largely by 
means of borrowed capital. On the 25th of May, 1857, the church, having suffered 
some distraction by reason of the ill timed labor of an evangelist named S. D. 
Symmons, concluded to reorganize, and change the name from The Fulton Baptist 
Church to that of The First Baptist Church and Society of the City of Fulton. 
The Trustees elected on the part of the church were D. W. Thomson, Gifford 
J. Booth and Dr. John Eddy, and on the part of the Society, Dr. Leander Smith 
and Wm. D. Meeker. Dr. John Eddy was also elected Clerk, and G. J. Booth, 
Deacon, in place of Jas. F. Booth resigned. The church being burdened with 
a heavy debt brought upon it by reason of building the edifice, decided to call 
Rev. A. A. Sawin to the pastoral charge, and also to employ him as financial 
agent to procure funds for liquidating the debt, and completing the building. 
His labors commenced in the summer of 1858, and were crowned with such 
abundant success that the debt was entirely paid, and the house finished in its 
present plain but substantial manner. The building cost six thousand dollars, 
and was finally and fully dedicated on the 30th of March, 1860, the Rev. Dr. 
Evarts of Chicago, assisting the pastor and other ministering brethren in the 
dedicatory services. Soon after the dedication Rev. Mr. Sawin resigned his charge 
and entered upon other fields of labor, and was succeeded by Rev. R. Evarts, of 
Sycamore, who retained the charge until September 21, 1861. On the 26th of 
April, 1862, Rev. John Zimmerman was called to the pastorate, filling the po- 
sition one year, and was followed by Rev. Wm. Storrs, who remained also one 
year, when he resigned. On the 1st of December, 1865, Rev. Wm. Roney com- 
menced his labors as pastor and continued them until September 22, 1867. 
Rev. E. C. M. Burnham next succeeded to the pastoral charge, commencing on 
the 31st of March, 1868, and continuing until October, 1869, and on the 1st of 
December of the same year. Rev. Henry Barden became pastor. Mr. Barden 
remained until September 30, 1870, when he resigned, and on December 11, 

1870, Rev. D. Connolly assumed the position, and continued in it until July 16, 

1871. The latter pastor is represented to have been successful in scattering the 
flock rather than sustaining and advancing their interests, and at the close of 
his labors the church found itself so divided, as well as crippled financially, that 
it did not feel able to meet further expense, and from that time to the present 
has not been favored with regular pastoral labor, and but a portion of the time 
with pastoral supply. Rev. Mr. Millard, and Rev. Mr. Burnham are deserving 
the thanks of the church for a very liberal share of that kind of labor. The 
church has now about thirty members, own their own house, free from 
debt, keep up their organization and Sabbath School, and are waiting the favor 
of Providence when they may again be able to have the stated ministration of 


the gospel. The present officers are : G. J. Booth, Wm. Cosner, Deacons; Jason 
Bennett, Clinton W. Jones, J. P. Jacobs, G. J. Booth, and Milo Jones, Trus- 
tees; G. J. Booth, Clerk, and Wm. Cosner, Treasurer. 

Episcopal CJmrch : — The first meeting looking toward the organization of 
the present Christ Church in Fulton was held at the building formerly used as 
a Methodist meeting house, on the 27th of May, 1869, the following persons 
being present : Edward Wyatt, Mr. and Mrs. W. Y. Wetzell, Orrin Cowles, G. 
W. Woodward, Dr. C. A. Griswold, Mrs. C. A. Griswold, W. H. Pratt, R. B. 
Myers, A. J. Webster, W. Johnson, F. L. Norton, Mrs. R S. Sayre, and Miss 
Marie Aylesworth. On motion Mr. Orrin Cowles was called to the chair, and 
F. L. Norton appointed Secretary. The chair stated the object of the meeting, 
when Mr. W. Y. Wetzell moved that an Episcopal Church be organized by those 
present, and the motion was unanimously carried. By request the chairman 
read the canons of the church, after which a vote was taken upon a name to be 
given to the church society, which resulted in selecting the name "Christ." Mrs. 
C. A. Griswold, Mrs. R. S. Sayre and Miss Marie Aylesworth were appointed a 
Committee to obtain signatures to a petition to the Bishop of Illinois for per- 
mission and authority to organize a church, which authority was shortly after- 
wards granted by the Bishop. On the 26th of July, 1869, a meeting was called 
by Eev. Wm. Green, of Geneva, Illinois, for the purpose of electing wardens 
and vestrymen for the year. The following persons were present : Rev. Wm. 
Green. C. W. Peeks, 0. Cowles, W. H. Pratt, C. A. Griswold, Z. M. Church, G. 
W. Woodward, E. Wyatt, W. Y. Wetzell, W. Johnson, A. J. Webster, and F. 
L. Norton. Rev. Mr. Green was called to the chair, and F. L. Norton appoint- 
ed Secretary. The election resulted as follows : Senior Warden, C. W. Peeks; 
Junior Warden, Orrin Cowles; Vestrymen, W. H. Pratt, C. A. Griswold, A. J. 
Webster, Geo. W. Woodward, Z. M. Church, F. L. Norton, James McCoy. At 
the meeting of the vestry held on the 2d of August, 1869, a letter was received 
from the Bishop expressing his hearty congratulations for the successful organ- 
ization of the church, tendering his aid, and requesting that the parish do not 
depend on Lyons and Clinton. Rev. Geo. Gibson was the first stated rector, 
and remained about two years. On the 8th of July, 1871, the church purchased 
the present house of worship from Mr. William Y. Wetzell. The following 
have been officers since those elected at the organization of the church: 1870, 
Senior Warden, C. W. Peeks; Junior Warden, 0. Cowles; Vestrymen, W. H. 
Pratt, W. Y. Wetzell, A. J. Webster, G. W. Woodward, F. L. Norton, Dr. C. 
A. Griswold, Z. M. Church. 1872, Senior Warden, 0. Cowles; Junior Warden, 
P. S. Bibbs : Vestrymen, C. W. Peeks, W. H. Pratt, R. H. Adams, Dr. C. A. 
Griswold, F. L. Norton. There has been no election of officers since the latter 
year. After the resignation of Rev. Mr. Gibson the church has been without 
stated services. During a part of the time Rev. J. Trimble, of Clinton, came 
over and held services on alternate Sunday afternoons, but lately they have been 
entirely given up, owing to the removal and death of members. Those still re- 
maining, however, are devising means for a renewal of services. 

Immaculate ConcepAion Church ( Roman Catholic ) .• — A church organiza- 
tion was formed denominated the Immaculate Conception Church at an early '] 
day, in Fulton, and services held by clergymen from parishes in Iowa. The 
present church edifice was built in 1862, and services held in it the same year, 
the parish of Fulton having received a stated pastor. The number of families 
now attending worship is about one hundred and ten, and the number of mem- 
bers five hundred and fifty. Many of the families live at a distance in the 
country, and come to church with their teams. More teams can be seen stand- 
ing at this church on Sunday, than at all the other churches in the city combined. 


The church edifice stands on a commanding position, facing the south, and is a 
handsome one both as to its exterior and interior. The names of the stated 
pastors who have officiated at the Immaculate Conception Church are as fol- 
lows : Rev. T. Kennedy, Michael Ford, Wm. Herbert, John Daley, James 
Govern, D. D., P. J. Gormley, and Rev. John Kilkenny, the latter being the 
present pastor. Services have also been held by the pastors of this church at 
the New Dublin School house, and at private houses, a short distance below Al- 
bany, for several years. During the present year a church edifice has been built 
at Coffey's Corners, under the supervision of Rev. John Kilkenny, the pastor, 
and a committee consisting of P. Ryan, Ed. Coffey, and James O'Neil, and is 
called the St. Columbanus Church. The number of families belonging to this 
church is 45, and the number of members, 225. 

Reformed Dutch Clmrch : — The membership of this church is made up of 
natives of Holland and their families, a large number of whom reside in and near 
Fulton. The church is one of the most flourishing in the city. The edifice is 
a very neatly constructed one, and is situated near the Northwestern Railway 
depot, at the southern limits of the city, and was built several years ago. The 
pastor. Rev. Mr. Hazenburgh, resigned during the last summer, and the church 
is now without stated supply. 

Fulton Public School: — The first school within the present limits of the 
city of Fulton was taught by Hon. James McCoy about the year 1840. During 
the succeeding half dozen years independent schools were taught at irregular 
intervals by the following named persons : Mr. Humphreys, Miss Eliza Town, 
Mrs. G. H. Rice, Miss Sarah Jenks, Miss Sylvia Coburn, Martin Kibby, and 
perhaps by some others. In the year 1847 the district was organized as school 
district No. 1, and the stone building situated on the west side of Base street, 
now known and used as the City Bridewell, was erected for a public school 
house. This house was built under the personal supervision, and chiefly 
through the instrumentality, of Hon. James McCoy, who was at that time 
Chairman of the Board of Trustees. It was the first building erected for school 
purposes in the city, and was considered the finest school house in the county. 
The first teacher to occupy it was Martin Kibby, who, in addition to the com- 
mon English branches generally considered the only essentials, also taught the 
elements of Latin. The successors of Mr. Kibby in the pedagogic chair at the 
stone school house were Miss Nancy Jenks, Miss Sarah K. Ford, Miss Mary J. 
Bronson, Elias Sage, Miss Belinda Buck, D. P. Spencer, Mr. Horton, Leander 
Martin, Rufus K. Blodgett, Emmet Benton, S. H. Baker, and Miss Soule. In 
the winter of 1856 and '57, the school population having outgrown the capacity 
of the " stone house," the high school was taught by H. H. Smith in Reed's 
Hall. On the 11th day of July, 1857, the Board of Directors, consisting of 
Bradstreet Robinson, John Phelps, and James L. Briggs, submitted to the legal 
voters of the district the proposition to build a new school house which should 
cost not less than $8,000. This proposition was carried with but one dissent- 
ing vote, and on the 15th of August, 1857, the contract for erecting the new 
building, according to plans and specifications furnished by Supervising Archi- 
tect 0. S. Kinney, was awarded as follows : The masonry to William Price ; 
the carpenter work to Horace Fuller; and the painting to N. Reynolds & Co. 
Lot 2, block 11, range 5, was selected as the location of the new building, 
although the grounds now include the whole block. Work was immediately 
commenced, and pushed forward with such energy that early in January, 1858, 
the lower story, though not fully completed, was occupied for school purpose?. 
The building was completed and formally dedicated in the summer of 1858, 
Prof. Eberhardt, of Evanston, delivering the address on that occasion. The 



scliool, as at that time organized, consisted of three departments or grades— a 
high school, an intermediate, and a primary. The first teachers were Prof. G. 
(t. Alvord — now Superintendent of Schools at Cairo, Illinois — as Principal, 
assisted by Miss Ada Alvord, with Miss M. A. Millikan, as intermediate, and 
Miss Mary Cowles, as primary teacher. The building is centrally located on 
the verge of an elevated plateau, and commands a fine view of the surrounding 
city and country, together with the majestic Mississippi, and the neighboring 
cities of Lyons and Clinton. It is built of brick, and was constructed in accord- 
ance with the most approved style of modern school architecture. It is three 
stories in height, exclusive of the basement, and contains seven school rooms, 
together with the usual number of halls, recitation rooms, chemical and philo- 
sophical laboratory, etc. The entire structure was erected at a cost of 
$14,643.45. The names of the principals who have succeeded Mr. Alvord are 
as follows : Thomas Baker, George P. Wells, E. P. Scott, and H. S. Hyatt, 
two years each: L. A. Stone, three years; S. M. Dickey, William E. Bradley, I. 
T. Ruth, G. G. Manning, and J. Thorp, two years; J. R. Parker, one year; and 
George C. Loomis, four years. The school, as at present organized, consists of 
seven departments, with the following named teachers in charge: Superintend- 
ent and Principal of High School, Prof. George C. Loomis; Assistant Principal. 
Miss Fannie H. Benson; second grammar. Miss Ida R. Pratt; first grammar. 
Miss Hattie E. James; intermediate. Miss Hattie E. Green; third primary, 
Miss Josie Knight; second primary. Miss Florence Myers; first primary. Miss 
Anna Prohosker. The course of study for the High School embraces all 
branches usually taught in other institutions of like character, and requires four 
years for its completion. Non-resident pupils are received in this depart- 
ment at moderate rates of tuition. Pupils who complete the High School 
course of study to the satisfaction of the Principal are entitled to and receive 
from the Board of Directors the graduate's diploma. The class of 1876 was 
the first to graduate, and consisted of the following members: Miss Matie 
Green, Miss Laura Gerrish, Miss Etta Jones, and Miss Jennie Knight. The 
whole number of pupils enrolled in 1877 was 487. Lender the present efficient 
management the school has attained a degree of excellence which ranks it with 
the best graded schools of the State. The present Board of Directors are 
Bradstreet Robinson, President ; William C. Green, Secretary; and William M. 

Northern Illinois College : — This institution was first established as the 
Western Union College and Military Academy, by Col. D. S. Covert, and favor- 
ably opened in the present building in September, 1861. Col. Covert had pre- 
viously thoroughly refitted the building, and added by purchase one and a half 
blocks to the grounds on the north side. He had also received from the United 
States Government a full equipment of muskets and accoutrements for the use 
of a cadet corps, and had employed a band of musicians to furnish music at 
drills, dress parades, reveille, and other exercises of the military department. 
The civil war had commenced, causing the military spirit to run high in the 
community, and large numbers of young men consequently flocked to Col. Cov- 
ert's Academy for instruction in military tactics. The institution was success- 
fully conducted for five years under the same plan and management. During 
the war it answered nobly to the calls of the Government for troops, and many 
well drilled and disciplined cadets went forth from its halls to take their places 
in the actual arena of military life " at the front." The Illinois Soldiers' Col- 
lege and Military Academy was organized March 30, 1866, and afterwards in- 
corporated by act of the General Assembly, approved February 26, 1867, as the 
Illinois Soldiers' College, the object bei«g to enable the disabled soldiers of the 


Union army, belonging to Illinois regiments, to acquire an education, in cases 
where application was made, so as to fit them for proper stations in civil life. 
The benefits of the institution also applied to their children. The first Faculty- 
consisted of Col. Leander H. Potter, as President, and Professor of Natural and 
Moral Philosophy ; Rev. 0. D. W. White, Professor of Natural and Agricul- 
tural Science; C. W. Peeks, Professor of Mathematics and Commercial Science; 
and Rev. George W. Woodward, Professor of Ancient and Modern Languages. 
Rev. Mr. White resigned his Professorship after serving some time, and Olin F. 
Matteson, A. M., filled the vacancy. Moses Soule, A. M.,'and W. H. Brydges, 
A. M., served a part of the time as instructors. Upon the resignation of Pres- 
ident Potter in June, 1873, the question of changing the name of the college 
came up, and on the 2d of September, 1873, a vote was taken by the stock- 
holders in pursuance of notice given, and the name changed to Northern Illi- 
nois College, which name is still retained. The first Faculty under the new 
name consisted of Rev. W. D. F. Lummis, A. M., President and Professor of 
Latin and Grreek Languages ; Mrs. W. D. F. Lummis, Governess and Teacher 
of Mathematics ; C. A. Griswold, A. M., M. D., Lecturer on Anatomy and Hy- 
giene ; Mr. and Mrs. Lummis, Instructors in Modern Languages and English 
Branches; Miss Carrie J. Culbertson, Teacher of Instrumental" Music ; and 
Prof. M. M. Jones, Teacher of Vocal Music. Mr. Lummis resigned in the 
summer of 1875, and in the fall of that year Rev. J. W. Hubbard, A. M., be- 
came President and Professor of Languages and Belle Lettres. Dui-ing his 
Presidency the following ladies and gentlemen were connected with the Fac- 
ulty : Mrs. R. M. Hubbard, Principal of Ladies' Department ; Moses Soule, 
A. M., Professor of Latin and Greek Languages ; L. B. Kuhn, Professor of 
Mathematics ; Miss Mary Dief'endorf , Professor of Modern Languages and Eng- 
lish Branches ; Miss Anna L. North, Instructor in Vocal and Instrumental 
Music ; C. A. Griswold, A. M., M. D., Lecturer on Anatomy and Hygiene ; C. 
H. Brake, Miss Ida 0. Taylor, and Miss Mary H. Goodrich, Assistant Instruct- 
ors. Mr. Hubbard remained as President until the close of the collegiate year 
in June, 1877, when he resigned. The present Faculty consists of Prof. A. A. 
Grifiith, A. M., President ; Moses Soule, A. M., Professor of Ancient Lan- 
guages ; T. S. Abbott, Mathematics, Civil and Mining Engineering, and French ; 
F. W. Wright, Natural Sciences ; S. W. Moses, Teacher of Violin and Guitar ; 
Jane Amelia Griffith, Preceptress ; Miss Sarah E. Linn, History, English Lit- 
erature, and Normal Studies ; Miss Ella F. Taylor, conservatory of Music — 
Piano, Organ, and Voice ; Miss Mary E. Spencer, Painting and Drawing ; Al- 
len A Griffith, Jr., Librarian. The report of Orrin Cowles, Esq., Secretary of 
the Board of Trustees, made on the 27th of June, 1877, showed that the en- 
dowment fund of the college consisted of loans to the amount of $16,869.75 ; 
with accrued interest amounting to $2,683.36 ; cash on hand, $442.38 — making 
a total of $19,995.49. The college building is one of the finest in the State, 
costing originally $100,000. Connected with it is a beautiful lawn of nearly 
three acres. The building is heated throughout by steam, thus dispensing with 
the smoke, dust, labor, and danger of nearly a hundred stoves. The rooms are 
large and well ventilated, and with little trouble the students can surround 
themselves with all the comforts of home. The endowment fund is large, en- 
abling the Trustees and Faculty to offer superior advantages to students at a 
moderate cost. The locality is one of the finest and most healthy in the State, 
and is easy of access by both rail and river. The courses of study have been 
arranged with much care, and are designed to meet the wants of the youth of 
both sexes. Ladies completing the full course, or its equivalent, receive a 
diploma conferring the honors of the degree of Mistress of Liberal Arts (M. L. 


A.) ; those completing the English studies, a diploma of Mistress of English 
Literature (M. E. L.)- Gentlemen completing the course receive the degree of 
Bachelor of Science (B. S.). Those who complete the Normal course, and have 
teaching in view, receive a teacher's diploma. Diplomas are also given to 
graduates in the Commercial and Scientific departments, and to those who com- 
plete the course in elocution and oratory. The present Trustees are : L. S. 
Pennington. Charles Spears, Orrin Cowles, Payson Trask, John Dickson, N. W. 
Hubbard, Leander Smith, D. S. Covert, E. R. Allen, Jas. McCoy, B. Robinson, E. 
B. Warner. The oflScers of the Board are : Hon. E. R. Allen, President ; 
Orrin Cowles, Secretary ; Leander Smith, Treasurer ; James McCoy, Chairman 
Executive Committee ; Dr. N. W. Hubbard, Payson Trask, and Orrin Cowles, 
members of the Executive Committee. 

Fulton City Lodge No. 189, A. F. and A. M.: — In the fall of 1855 several 
of the brethren of the Mystic Tie in the city of Fulton and vicinity, resolved, 
after consultation, to make an effort to raise a Lodge of Master Masons. The 
first meeting for this purpose was held in the hall over Dr. Benton's store on 
the evening of September 17, 1855. There were present Messrs. D. W. Thom- 
son, James L. Briggs, Wilson S. Wright, Charles J. Johnson, James McCoy, S. 
W. Johnston, Reuben Patrick, J. M. Brown, Wm. Pearson and J. J. Harrison. 
A resolution was passed at this meeting to petition to the Grand Lodge of the 
State of Illinois for a Dispensation for a working Lodge of Master Masons to be 
called Fulton City Lodge, and the following brethren were recommended as its 
first officers: D. W. Thomson, W. M ; James L. Briggs, S. W., and Wilson S. 
Wright, J. W. Upon receiving the petition the Grand Lodge duly granted a 
Dispensation, and on the 24th of December, 1855, the Lodge was organized with 
the following petition members as officers: David W. Thomson, W. M.; James 
L. Briggs, S. W.; Wilson S. Wright, J. W.; Reuben Patrick, Treasurer; J. M. 
Brown, Secretary; James McCoy, S. D.; S. W. Johnston, J. D. The Lodge 
worked under Dispensation until October, 1856, when a charter was granted by 
the Grand Lodge of the State, and thereupon it was duly instituted as Fulton 
City Lodge, No. 189, A. F. and A. M., and the following officers installed: David 
W. Thomson, W. M.; James L. Briggs, S. W\; Geo. D. Van Horn, J. W.; E. A. 
Ingalls, Secretary; John Phelps, Treasurer; C. L. Carleton, S. D.; Wm. H. 
Knight, J. D.; R. Patrick, Steward; B. Snyder, Master of Ceremonies, and A. 
D. McCool, Chaplain. The building of the present elegant and well appointed 
Hall was commenced in the fall of 1868, and finished in June, 1869. The dedi- 
cation took place on Wednesday, the 30th of June, 1869, the officers of the 
Lodge being: R. H. Adams, W. M.; Geo. D. Van Horn, S. W.; E. W. Dutcher, 
J. W., and W. C. Snyder, Architect. The Grand Lodge for the purpose of dedi- 
cation was organized in the new Hall, as follows: James C. Luckey, R. W. G. 
M.; Geo. D. Van Horn, G. S. W.; E. W. Dutcher, G. J. W.; A. Sallee, D. G. 
W., and G. W. Woodward, Chaplain. The ceremonies were opened by James 
C. Luckey, Acting Grand Master, in a beautiful and appropriate speech, after 
which the Hall was solemnly dedicated to Masonry in due and ancient form. 
David W. Thomson then presented to the Lodge in an excellent speech, a beau- 
tiful gavel of olive wood, made in Jerusalem, and a rough and a perfect ashler 
made of stone from the great quarry under the city of Jerusalem, out of which 
it is supposed the stone was taken for building the Temple. The gifts were 
received by the Acting Grand Master in the name of the Lodge. Bro. Forres- 
ter, of Aurora, followed with an excellent and forcible address on the objects 
and spirit of Masonry, which was well received by all present, including those 
not members of the fraternity. The whole proceedings closed with a splendid 
supper in the banqueting room, provided by the lady friends of the brethren of 


the Lodge. Those who have visited the Hall of Fulton City Lodge are univer- 
sal in the expression of the opinion that in all of its appointments it is one of 
the best in this section of the country. The following have been the principal 
oflBcers of the Lodge since its organization: Worshipful Masters: — 1856-'57 and 
58, David W. Thomson; 1859, Charles A. Chase; 1860, H. B. Owen; 1861, 
David W. Thomson; 1862, W. C. Snyder; 1863-'64 and '65, A. Sallee; 1866, 
W. C. Snyder; 1867-'68-'69-'70 and '71, Reuben H. Adams; 1872 and '73, A. 
Sallee; 1874 and '75, W. C. Snyder; 1876, C. A. Griswold. Senior Wardens:— 
1856, Jas. L. Briggs; 1857, H. B. Owen; 1858, C. A. Chase; 1859, N. S. Case; 
18.60, Geo. D. Van Horn; 1861, W. C. Snyder; 1862, Geo. D. Van Horn; 1863, 
M. M. Messier; 1864, Jas. B. Peabody; 1865 and '66, R. H. Adams; 1867, A. 
Sallee; 1868, Geo. D. Van Horn; 1869, Wm.Reed; 1870, E.W.Dutcher; 1871, 
Thos. Conaty; 1872-'73 and '74, Jacob Brown; 1875, Wm. Stuart; 1876, S. E. 
Seeley. Junior Wardens: — 1856, Geo. D. Van Horn; 1857, E. A. Ingalls; 
1858, Nelson S. Case; 1859, Jas. B. Peabody; 1860, W. C. Snyder; 1861, Jas. 
McMurchy; 1862, Wm. Reed; 1863, John Hess; 1864, Wm. Reed; 1865, M. 
M. Messier; 1866 and '67, Geo. D. Van Horn; 1868 and '69, E. W. Dutcher; 
1870, J. C. Martindale; 1871, Jas. W. Smith; 1872 and '73, Henry Yule; 1874, 
Wm. Stuart; 1875, C. A. Griswold; 1876, G. W. Clendenin. Treasurers: — 
1856-'57-'58-'59-'60-'61 and 62, John Phelps; 1863-'64-'65 and '66, Leauder 
Smith; 1867, John Phelps; 1868-'69-'70-'71-'72 and '73, W. C. Snyder; 1874 
and '75, Leander Smith; 1876, W. C. Snyder. Secretaries: — 1856, 0. E. Page; 
1857 and '58, Geo. S. Phelps; 1859, W. W. Ware; 1860, J. B. Peabody; 1861, 
E. K. Ingalls; 1862, D. E. Dodge; 1863 and '64, John Phelps; 1865, Jas. B. 
Britton; 1866-67 and '68, Jacob Brown; 1869-'70-'71-'72 and '73, John 
Phelps; 1874 and '75, Oscar Summers; 1876, Thos. H. Smith. From the be- 
ginning Fulton City Lodge has been prosperous, and notwithstanding three 
Lodges, the Albany, Dunlap and Thompson, have been formed from its terri- 
tory, its membership at present is large, numbering over eighty, and is con- 
stantly increasing. Regular communications are held at Masonic Hall, on Mon- 
days, on or before the full moon in each month. 

Fulton Chapter JVo. 108, R. A. M. : — On the evening of Wednesday, Jan- 
uary 30, 1867, Companions A. Sallee, W. C. Snyder, R. H. Adams, John Phelps 
and I. T. Moulton, met at Masonic Hall for the purpose of organizing a Chapter 
of Royal Arch Masons in the city of Fulton. A Lodge of Past Masters was 
opened in form. Officers— A. Sallee, R. W. M.; R. H. Adams, S. W.; W. C 
Snyder, J. W. The R. W. M. stated to the meeting that he had a Dispensa- 
tion in his possession for the organization of such a Lodge, granted by Orlin H. 
Miner, M. E. G. H. P., for the State of Illinois, to the following Companions : 
Abraham Sallee, D. W. Thomson, Stephen Ives, C. W. Aylesworth, Cyrus Pratt, 
Peter Holman, John Phelps, W. C. Snyder, R. H. Adams, and Geo. D. Van 
Horn. At the next meeting held on Wednesday evening, February 13, 1867, 
the following officers were elected : A. Sallee, H. P.; S. L. Beston, K,; John 
Eddy, S.; L T. Moulton, C. of H; R. H. Adams, P. S.; George D. Van Horn, 
R. A. C; W. C. Snyder, M. 3d V.; C. W. Aylesworth, M. 2d V.; John Phelps, 
M. 1st V. The Chapter worked under dispensation until October 9, 1867, when 
it received a Charter from the M. E. Grand Chapter of the State, and was duly 
instituted as Fulton Chapter, No. 108, R. A. M., and the following officers in- 
stalled : Abraham Sallee, H. P.; D. W. Thomson. K.; Cyrus Pratt, S.; Reuben 
H. Adams, C. of H.; William J. McCoy, P. S.; George D. VanHorn, R. A. C; 
William C. Snyder, M. 3d V.; Charles W. Aylesworth, M. 2d V.; Charles F. 
Welles, M. 1st V.; W. C. Snyder, Treasurer; John Phelps, Secretary; John 
Eddy, C; Oliver Baker, B. G. Baker, Stewards; Charles D. Rose, Tyler. The 


ollowing have been the principal officers of the Chapter since 1867 : High 
:<,.je5^_1868-"69-'70-'71-'72-'73-'74 and '75, Abraham Sallee; 1876 and '77, 


W. C. Snyder. Z^'n^— 1868, John Eddy; 1869 and '70, George W. Woodward; 
1871, Thomas Conaty;1872 and '73, J. M. Startzman;1874, Charles Bent; 1875, 
J J 'Curley; 1876, David E. Dodge; 1877, Dr. H. M. Booth. *Sc?7"6e— 1868, 
Samuel W. Johnston; 1869, S. C. Bates; 1870, E. W. Dutcher; 1871-72 and 
'73, David E. Dodge; 1874, G. W. Sweet; 1875, Noah Green; 1876, David 
Me'rritt; 1877, George S. Melendy. Treasurer — 1868 to 1877, inclusive, W. C. 
Snyder.' Secretary — 1868 to 1877, inclusive, John Phelps. The Chapter num- 
bers at the present time over eighty members, and holds its regular convocations 
at Masonic Hall, on or before the full moon of the Lunar month. 

Masonic Relief Association : — At the regular communication of Fulton City 
Lodge, No. 189, A. F. & A. M., held on the 11th of April, 1870, it was recom- 
mended that a joint stock company or association be formed to liquidate the 
debt of the Lodge, which had been incurred in building and furnishing the new 
Masonic Hall, and in pursuance of that recommendation the following members 
met at the Hall on Monday evening, July 18, 1870 : C. Summers, W. C. Sny- 
der. Thomas Conaty, A. Sallee, E. W. Dutcher, R. H. Adams, George D. Van 
Horn, George W. Padelford, H. Downey, C. E. Langford, D. E. Dodge, S. C. 
Bates, George Eckert, J. M. Startzman, S. Lyon, C. A. Griswold, W. H. Pratt, 
0. Summers, M. L. Osborne, Peter Dull, A. L. Morey, and John Phelps. On 
motion E. W. Dutcher was called to the chair, and John Phelps appointed Sec- 
retary. A resolution was unanimously adopted that a joint stock association be 
formed for the purpose named in the recommendation, and a committee appoint- 
ed to draft a code of by-laws for its government. At a meeting on the 1st of 
August, 1870, the following permanent officers of the Association were elected : 
President, James McCoy; Secretary, John Phelps; Treasurer, W. C. Snyder. 
At the same meeting it was resolved that the corporate name be the "Masonic 
Relief Association," and that the seal of the Association be circular with the 
following words around the margin : "Masonic Relief Association, Fulton, 111." — 
the device to be an open hand in the center with thumb turned to the palm on 
the plumb. The Association was afterwards duly incorporated under division 
12, chapter 25, of the statutes of the State concerning corporations, and the 
capital stock fixed at $6,000, divided into shares of $25 each. The books of 
subscription to the capital stock were opened on the 6th of August, 1870, and 
in a short time thereafter the whole amount was taken, and the Association pur- 
chased the hall and the rooms connected therewith, with their fixtures and 
appointments, and paid the entire debt. More than half of the stock was taken 
by members of Fulton City Lodge, No. 189, A. F. & A. M., and Fulton Chapter 
No. 108 R. A. M., and the two Lodges now rent the Hall from the Association. 
The present officers of the Association are Reuben H. Adams, President; Wil- 
liam Y. Wetzell, Vice President; W. C. Snyder, Treasurer; John Phelps, Sec- 
retary; C. B. Bachelder, A. D. Mitchell, and M. L. Osborne, Executive Com- 

Abou Ben Adhem Lodge, No. 148, /. 0. 0. F. .—This Lodge was first known 
as Portland Lodge, No. 148, I. 0. 0. F., and met at Prophetstown until May 24, 
1861, when it surrendered its charter and effects to the Grand Lodge of the 
State. In 1871 the charter was renewed by the Grand Lodge and granted, to- 
gether with the effects of the old Lodge, to Abou Ben Adhem Lodge, the 
meetings to be held at the City of Fulton. The first members of the new Lodge 
were George W. Woodward, A. J. Heberle, L. F. Puffer, Z. M. Church, and 
Clinton W. Jones, and the first meeting held July 29, 1871. The principal of- 
ficers of the Lodge have been as follows : Mhle Grand — G. W. Woodward, L. 


F. PuflFer, A. Marsh, Charles Kahl, A. Volkman, C. M. Church, J. H. Fritz, H. 
V. Fritz, J. K. Richey, Joel W. Farley, G. Walter, Hervey Smith, R. B. Myers 
and George M. Farley. Secretary — L. F. Puffer, G. W. Woodward, A. Marsh, 
Hiram Noble, H. H. Hobein, Joel W. Farley, George M. Farley, E. B. Hoxie, 
and C. C. Carpenter. The Lodge hold regular meetings on Monday evening of 
each week. The present number of members is seventy, with almost constant 

FuUo7i Business Assoc{ation:~This Association was first organized on the 25th 
of April, 1874, the meeting having been called at the written request of a large 
number of business men and property holders of the city. At this meeting Dr. 
W. C. Snyder was called to the chair, and A. R. McCoy appointed Secretary. The 
subject of organizing an Association which would aid in advancing the material 
interests of the city, was fully discussed, and its necessity clearly shown. 
At the conclusion of the discussion it was unanimously resolved to organize. A 
constitution and by-laws were then adopted, and the following officers elected : 
President, Dr. Leander Smith; Vice President, Albert R. McCoy; Secretary, Dr. 
W. C. Snyder; Treasurer, C N. Wheeler. The following Committees were also 
appointed : On Manufacturing and Improvement Interests : — F. E. Marcellus, 
William C. Green 2d, J. M. Fay; On Mercantile Interests — Charles B. Mercereau, 
Charles E. Langford. A. Sallee; On Railroad and River Interests — Dr. L. Smith, 
Dr. W. C. Snyder, W. J. McCoy; On Statistics— Vayson Trask, W. M. Herrold, 
George Terwilliger. The Association went actively at work, and through its influ- 
ence several industries were established in the city. The records however, were 
burned in the fire which destroyed the Postoffice building on the 26th of March, 
1875, and but very little was done by the Association until its reorganization on 
the 27th of March, 1877. At that meeting F. E. Marcellus was called to the 
chair. Dr. W. C. Snyder officiating as Secretary. The Secretary stated that all 
of the books, records, by-laws, etc., of the Association had been destroyed by 
fire, and that the time for the annual election of officers had passed. It was 
then resolved to adopt a new constitution and by-laws, and elect new officers. 
All persons who had fully paid their membership fees to the Association, and 
still resided in the city, were to be considered members in good standing. The 
following officers were elected : President, Thomas A. Hardin; Vice President, 
Wm M. Herrold; Secretary, Dr. W. C. Snyder; Treasurer, Charles N. Wheeler; 
ICxecutive Committee, J. M. Startzman, Wm. C. Green 2d, and J. P. Jacobs. 
Committees were afterwards appointed as follows : On Statistics — W. C. Green 
2d, Dr. C. A. Griswold, J. Martin Fay; On Puhlication—J)r. W. C. Snyder, E. 
Summers, C. B. Bachelder; On Manufactures — N. W. McGee, W. J. McCoy, W. 
P. Culbertson. These officers are active, energetic business men, and will make 
the influence of the Association felt upon the business interests of the city. 

Womaiis Christian Temperance Union : — This Society was organized on the 
first of September, 1875, with a membership of nineteen, composed of the fol- 
lowing ladies : Mrs. B. A. Congar, Mrs. A. B. Gay, Mrs. G. J. Booth, 
Mrs. J. P. Jacobs, Mrs. C. Broadhead, Mrs. W. P. Culbertson. Mrs. J. 
M. Fay, Mrs. T. A. Hudson, Mrs. A. R. McCoy, Mrs. J. C. Snyder, Mrs. S. 
M. Trask, Mrs. J. E. Gates, Mrs. E. A. Linn, Mrs. B. W. Brown, Mrs. G. L. 
Lyon, Mrs.W. J. McCoy, Mrs.G. Terwilliger, Miss CeliaEddy, Miss Sarah E. Linn. 
The first officers of the Society were : President, Mrs. B. W. Brown; Vice 
Presidents, Mrs. G. J. Booth, Mrs. W. P. Hall, Mrs. Payson Trask, and Mrs. J. 
C. Snyder; Recording Secretary, Mrs. Marie McCoy; Corresponding Secretary, 
Mrs. Fannie McCoy; Treasurer, Miss Celia Eddy. On the 7th of October fol- 
lowing, Mrs. Brown resigned the position of President, and Mi-s. John Dyer was 
elected to fill the vacancy, and on the 26th of November Mrs. Fannie McCoy 


resigned her place of Corresponding Secretary, and Mrs. J. E. Gates was elected 
to fill the vacancy. At the annual election on the 8th of September, 1876, Mrs. 
John Hudson was elected President, and the other ofiicers of 1875 re-elected. 
The total receipts of the Union for the year ending September 1, 1876, were 
$301,92. and from that date to March 1st, 1877, $121,93, making a total of $323,- 
85. This sum has been expended for lectures, rent, furnishing a free reading 
room, and incidentals. Among the lecturers have been some of the most noted 
of the day. The Free Reading Room was opened on the 18th of July, 1876, 
and continued open until the spring of 1877, when it was temporarily closed. 
It is contemplated to open it again soon. The Union hold weekly meetings, 
the members being the most active and energetic temperance workers in the 
city. It now numbers upwards of fifty members. 

TJie R. C. T. A.B. Society: — The Roman Catholic Temperance and Benevo- 
lent Society of the city of Fulton was organized on the 14th of August, 1870. 
The following gentlemen were its first officers : President, Patrick Bell; Vice 
President, Joseph Dugan; Secretary, Patrick Dorsey; Treasurer, Dennis Con- 
nors. The object of the Society is not only to promote the cause of Temper- 
ance, but to have the members act as a union in all deeds of benevolence that 
may arise in the organization, or to which by a majority vote they are requested 
to lend a helping hand. Their motto is "Temperance and Benevolence." Reg- 
ular monthly meetings are held at Stevenson's Hall. The number of members 
is forty-five, and the present officers are. President, John Downs; Vice President, 
Patrick Considine; Secretary, J. P. Hooks; Treasurei-, Daniel Daly. 

Fulton Temperance Reform Club: — This Club was first organized at the 
M. E. Church, on Monday evening, March 27, 1876. Mr. A. A. Wheeler 
was called to the chair, and Miss C. Eddy appointed Secretary. The constitu- 
tion and pledge were then offered to those present for signature, and thirty- 
seven subscribed their names. The following permanent officers were then 
elected: President, A. A. Wheeler; Vice Presidents, Charles Hall, John Han- 
naher, John F. Cosner; Secretary, Mrs. M. B. Terwilliger; Treasurer, Mrs. W. P. 
Hall; Chaplain, Rev. J. W. Hubbard. This Club continued in existence for some 
time, and was succeeded by the present club, which was organized June 30, 
1877. The officers are: President, E. W. Dutcher; Secretary, C. J. Cole; 
Treasurer, A. A. Wheeler. The Club meets every Monday evening at the 
basement of the Presbyterian church, and is increasing its membership rapidly. 
There is also a Lodge of the Sons of Temperance in existence in the city, but 
for the past year or two meetings have not been held regularly, owing to 
withdrawal of members, and the removal of others from town. The charter is 
still retained and the Lodge can be set into active operation again at any time. 
A Red Ribbon organization has also been formed, made up of children and 
young people, which meets at stated times at the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Fidton Cemetery Association: — On the 24th of July, 1874, Charles N. 
Wheeler, Wm. J. McCoy, Wm. C. Snyder, John M. Fay, and F. E. Marcellus 
filed a petition and statement, duly signed and acknowledged in the office of 
the Secretary of State, at Springfield, for the organization of an association 
under the Act concerning corporations, to be known and called the Fulton 
Cemetery Association, with a capital stock of $500,- upon which the Secretary 
of State issued a License to them as Commissioners to open books for subscrip- 
tion to the capital stock. On the 20th of August, 1874, the Commissioners 
filed in the office of the Secretary of State a report of their proceedings under 
the License, and on the same day a certificate was issued by that officer making 
The Fulton Cemetery Association a legally organized corporation under the laws 
of Illinois. Previous to the issuing of the certificate of incorporation, and on 


the 6th of August, 1874, the Commissioners met at the office of W. C. Snyder, 
when it was moved and carried that a Board of Directors to consist of six mem- 
bers be elected to exercise the corporate powers of the Association, the Board 
to be divided into three classes, those of the first class to hold office until the 
next annual election of the Association; those of the second class to hold office 
for two years, and those of the third class for three years. The following per- 
sons were then elected Directors: First Class — Peter Kitchen, W. Y. Wetzell; 
Second Class— ¥. E. Marcellus, J. Martin Fay; Third Class — W. C. Snyder, 
W. J. McCoy. The Directors afterwards met and elected the following officers: 
President, W. J. McCoy; Secretary, ^V. C. Snyder; Treasurer, F. E. Marcellus; 
Executive Committee, W. J. McCoy, J. Martin Fay, W. C. Snyder. The cap- 
ital stock was very soon taken, and the Association commenced active opera- 
tions under their charter. The fire on the 26th of March, 1875, which 
destroyed the Postoffice and ,/owraaZ building also destroyed the records, by-laws, 
plats, deeds, seal, etc., of the Association, the Secretary's office being located in 
the building, and at a meeting of the Directors subsequently held, the Secretary 
was instructed to procure new certificates of stock, blank deeds, seal, etc., and 
to record anew the names of stockholders, directors and officers, and also to 
procure a copy of all the matter of record in the Recorder's office at Morrison, 
and record the same into a book of record for the use of the Association. la 
September and October, 1874, the new part of the cemetery, comprising five 
acres, was purchased, and both the new and old grounds enclosed with a good 
substantial fence. In 1858 the city built a fence around the old grounds, but 
long prior to the organization of the Association it had got out of repair by 
neglect and the ravages of time, so that it afforded but little or no security 
against predatory animals. In fact citizens were ashamed of the cemetery on 
account of its condition. The grounds had been well selected, the site being on 
a blufiF in the northern part of the town overlooking most of the city, the 
Narrows of the river, nearly all of the city of Lyons, a part of Clinton, and a 
wide stretch of country. In it had been laid large numbers of the citizens of 
Fulton, over whose resting place in many instances, fine monuments had been 
erected. But weeds and briars had been permitted to grow up everywhere, and 
the swine of the neighborhood had full privilege to indulge in their rooting 
propensities at all times. The Association has remedied all this, having ex- 
pended over $1,200 in the purchase of additional grounds, and the laying out, 
beautifying, and properly enclosing the whole, so that the citizens can now point 
to it with pride. These improvements are going on year by year. The present 
officers are the same as those first elected. 


Hon. James McCoy was born in Greenbrier county, Virginia, on the 22d 
of September, 1816. When near his majority he turned his face Westward 
determined to seek a home in the Mississippi Valley, and on the 9th of May, 
1837, stopped at Fulton City. The situation of the place, and its sur- 
roundings, so pleased him that he concluded to end his search here, and to take 
his chances for fortune with those he already found on the spot. There being 
no ready opening for the practice of his profession, that of law, he engaged in 
surveying and school teaching, until early in 1839, when he went east, and was 
married on the 23d of April of that year to Miss Elizabeth Russell, of Cham- 
paign county, Ohio, formerly of Loudon county, Virginia. He returned to Ful- 
ton in October, 1839, and has remained a resident ever since. In 1840 he com- 
menced the active practice of law at the West, and has devoted his attention to 
it, excepting when public duties demanded his time, up to the present. Hia 



practice has taken him to all the courts of this and other States, and to the 
District. Circuit and Supreme Courts of the United States. When the question 
of connecting the Mississippi river with the Lakes was brought forward in 1851, 
he early took an active and conspicuous part in securing the Mississippi term- 
inus at Fulton, and was a Dii'ector and the jfirst President of the Mississippi & 
Rock River Junction Railroad, one of the roads having that object in view. It 
was mainly due to his efforts that a law was passed by the Legislature of Illi- 
nois incorporating that company, as well as the one passed by the Iowa 
Legislature incorporating a company to construct a road from Lyons to Council 
Bluffs. When the Legislature of Illinois passed the act giving the County 
Court of Whiteside county concurrent jurisdiction with the Circuit Court, he 
was elected Judge, and served in that capacity for two years, and until the law 
was repealed. In 1868 he was elected one of the Presidential Electors on the 
Republican ticket, and in 1869 a delegate to the Constitutional Convention 
which framed the constitution of that year. In that convention he took a 
prominent part, and by his knowledge of constitutional law rendered valuable 
assistance in securing an incorporation into our State charter, of many of its 
wisest and best features. He was one of the first Trustees elected for the 
Illinois Soldiers' College, and continued in that capacity during the existence of 
the College under that name, and also since, under the name of the Northern 
Illinois College, always taking an active part in behalf of the best interests of 
the Institution. Mr. and Mrs. McCoy have had eight children. Melinda, Wil- 
liam J., James, Albert Russell, Addison W., Augustin, Edward and Joseph H. 
They are all living except James and Joseph H. Melinda married Robert E. 
Logan, and is living in Union Grove Township; William J. married Marie 
Aylesworth, and is living in Fulton; Albert Russell married Fannie Cougar, and 
resides in Clinton, Iowa; Addison W. married Georgiana Russell, and resides 
in Fulton. Judge McCoy was one of the early settlers of Fulton, as will be 
seen by the history of the town, and has been identified with its interests, as 
well as those of the county, from that time to the present. 

Henry C. Fellows was born in the town of New Lebanon, Columbia 
county. New York, March 10, 1815, and came to Whiteside county in March, 
1837, and settled in Fulton, being one of the very earliest settlers in the town. 
On the 9th of November, 1843, he married Miss Lydia Baker, daughter of Jacob 
and Elizabeth Baker, at Union Grove, in this county. The children of this 
marriage have been Robert J., Augusta, Ellen H., Florence A., Mary E., 
William H., and Frederick A. Of these Robert J. is married and . lives in 
Union Grove, and Florence, William H., and Frederick A., live in Fulton. 
Augusta, Ellen H., and Mary E., are dead. Mr. Fellows was one of the original 
proprietors of the present city of Fulton, and has been identified with its inter- 
ests from the very commencement. Together with the early pioneers he 
suffered all the hardships and privations iiicident to such a life, as well as enjoyed 
all the pleasures with which the people at that time were wont to season their 
otherwise monotonous existence. He early displayed capacities which fitted 
him for public position, and was consequently called upon to fill offices of honor 
and trust almost from the start. He was for a number of years Deputy Sheriff 
of the county, and a police magistrate of the city, and Justice of the Peace of 
the township of Fulton for fully twenty years. In 1857 he was first elected 
Supervisor of the township, and was re-elected at seven different times afterwards, 
making eight years service in all as member of the Board of Supervisors. He 
has also held other township offices, and was one of the first aldermen of the 
city. At the time when the project of connecting the lakes with the Missis- 
sippi river by railroads was being pushed,, he took an active part in securing the 



western terminus at Fulton. In fact his influence has been felt in every project 
gotten up in behalf of the interests of Fulton, and we may also say of the 
county. By industry and prudence he has secured a lai-ge property, and bids 
fair to enjoy it for many years to come. 

Jessie Johnson was a native of Troy, N. Y., and was born April 2, 1798. 
He came to Fulton in June, 1838, and remained until October of that year, and 
then moved to the bluffs, five miles east of Fulton, where he had purchased a 
farm, and upon which he remained, attending strictly to its cultivation, until 
1853, when he returned to Fulton and made that place his home for the rest of 
his days. Mr. Johnson was married to Miss Mary Webb, at Lowville, Lewis 
county, New York, February 8, 1822. The following are the names of the 
children of this marriage, according to date of birth : Mary, born July 28, 
1823 ; Sarah R., October 6, 1824 ; Charles J., July 8, 1826 ; Harriet, February 
10, 1828 ; John D., June 8, 1830 ; Edmund L., April 8, 1832 ; Cornelia, March 
18, 1834 — died when an infant ; Cornelia P., June 18, 1836 ; Henrietta, Au- 
gust 25, 1838 ; Auna M., September 23, 1840 ; Eliza N., March 22, 1842 ; 
Caleb C, May 23, 1844. Mary married C. L. Ware, and lives at Fulton ; Sa- 
rah married W. H. Knight, of Fulton, and diedt January 12, 1864 ; Charles J. 
married Mary Exley, and lives in Chicago ; Harriet married William C. Green, 
and lives at Fulton ; John D. married Olive Abbott, and lives at LeClaire, 
Iowa ; Edmund L. (deceased) married Mahala Wright, and was a resident of 
Fulton ; Cornelia P. married Richard Green, and lives at Fulton ; Henrietta 
married Charles Davidson, and lives at Bloomington, 111.; Anna M. married 
William Reed (now deceased), and lives at Fulton ; Eliza N. married Samuel 
Dennison, and lives at Fulton ; Caleb C. married Josephine Worthington, and 
lives at Sterling. The three sons living, Charles J., John J)., and Caleb C, are 
eminent lawyers. Mr. Johnson never held any public position, save that of 
Road Commissioner for one term in the early days of Fulton. He died at his 
residence in Fulton after a lingering illness, October 12, 1876. 

Dr. Daniel Reed is a native of Onondaga county. New York, and was 
born September 4, 1803. He remained in that county until he was thirty-two 
years of age, during which time he studied medicine, for the most of the time, 
in the office of Dr. Daniel T. Jones?, at that time one of the ablest and most 
successful physicians in the interior of New York State ; and upon being ad- 
mitted into the brotherhood of Doctors of Medicine, commenced practice at Am- 
boy, in the same county. In 1835 he came West and settled in Chicago, where 
he remained two years, and then moved to Fulton, where he has resided ever 
since. Dr. Reed married Miss Lucinda F. Meigs, a native of Bethlehem, Litch- 
field county, Mass., May 1, 1828. The children of this marriage have been as 
follows : William, born May 15, 1829 ; Helen M., born October 28, 1831 ; 
Athalie, born December 14, 1833 ; James H., born January 26, 1836 ; Cynthia 
J., born March 26, 1838 ; Harriet E., born May 15, 1841. Of these Harriet 
died September 6, 1841 ; Helen M., November 6, 1857 ; and William, April 17, 
1872. James H. is the celebrated photographic artist at Clinton, Iowa. The 
Doctor's services as a physician, as well as those of his wife (for it is univer- 
sally acknowledged by those who knew her in the early days of Fulton that she 
was as good a doctor as the very best of them), were called into active requisi- 
tion during the first years or their residence in Fulton, and especially in 1839, 
when almost everybody in this section of the country was sick. For days and 
nights together during that year neither the Doctor nor Mrs. Reed found any 
rest, the latter especially going from one bedside to the other in her efforts to 
relieve the stricken ones, and many to this day gratefully remember her care 
and kindness during their long and severe illness. Dr. Reed has been frequently 


elected to public offices both in the city and township of Fulton, and was Cor- 
oner of the county from 1856 to 1858. 

Ephraim Summers was born in Barnet, Caledonia county, Vermont, Sep- 
tember 4. 1812. He remained in his native State until 1836, when he came 
West, and first settled in Portland, Whiteside county, where he worked at his 
trade, that of a blacksmith, until the fall of 1841, and then moved to Sterling. 
In 1848 he settled in Fulton. In 1850 he caught the gold fever and went to 
California, where he remained two years, taking the overland route as he went, 
and returning by way of the Isthmus. Mr. Summers was married to Miss Mary 
L. Dixon on the 4th of February, 1834. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Sum- 
mers have been: Clois, Sophia, Orilla, Morris, Cyrus, and Ida Morris. All are 
living except the latter, who died in infancy. Since his residence in Fulton, 
Mr. Summers has worked at his trade for part of the time, and has also been in 
the hardware trade. He was justice of the peace and police magistrate for a 
large number of years, and also held other town and city offices, and for several 
years was United States Internal Revenue Ganger. 

Dr. William C. Snyder was born in Haddenfield, Hunterdon county, New 
Jersey, July 29, 1821, and was educated as a physician and admitted to prac- 
tice in his native State. In June, 1847, at the age of 26 years, he came to 
Whiteside county and settled in Union Grove, where he practiced his profession 
until June, 1854, when he moved to Fulton. During the Doctor's residence in 
Union Grove he represented the town in the Board of Supervisors in the years 
1852-53 and '54, being the first Supervisor of the town. From 1850 to 1853 
he was Postmaster at Union Grove. In 1856 he was elected Supervisor of 
Fulton, and in 1858 was appointed Drainage Commissioner for the county, and 
held the office until 1872. This was a position of peculiar trust, and one of 
great interest and importance to the county. The Doctor entered upon its du- 
ties with the full determination of discharging them with fairness, fidelity, and 
to the best interests of all concerned; and that he did so is the universal ex- 
pression of all conversant with his official acts. In the years 1857-58 and '59 
he was Collector of the township of Fulton. In 1866 he was elected Mayor of 
the city of Fulton, but it being ascertained that he could not perform its func- 
tions by reason of holding a United States office, he resigned. In May, 1861, he 
was appointed Postmaster at the city of Fulton by President Lincoln, and the 
appointment unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate. The term 
was for four years, and at its expiration he was re-appointed, and this has been 
the case at the expiration of each term up to the present time, a period of six- 
teen years. Previous to his appointment the Postoffice had been moved from 
one place to another in the city, as the convenience or opportunities of the dif- 
ferent postmasters seemed to dictate or demand, but upon his assuming the 
position he permanently located it in his own building on Base street, and fitted 
it up in a manner to fully answer the requirements of the public. A more con- 
venient or more tastily arranged and fitted up Postoffice cannot be found in this 
section of the country. The Doctor has always been a public-spirited citizen, 
and whenever any movement in behalf of the interests, growth or pros- 
perity of the city of his home, or of the county, was projected, he was one of 
the first to be consulted, and the first to act. He is at present Secretary of the 
Fulton Business Association and the Cemetery Association, positions which he 
has held from the organization of these bodies. He has also held the position 
of Chairman of the Republican County Committee for quite a number of years, 
and was for one term a member of the Republican State Central Committee. 

Lyman Blake is a native of Chichester, Merrimac county. New Hampshire, 
and came first to Whiteside county in the summer of 1839, and bought a claim 


in the Precinct of Fulton, now known as Blake's Addition to the city of Fulton. 
After purchasing the claim he went back to New Hampshire and]]remftincd two 
years, and then went to Boston, staying there over a year; thence to Buffalo, 
New York, and from there to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he lived twelve years. In 
1854 he returned to Fulton, where he has remained ever since. In 1855 he sold 
a large part of his land to the Railroad Company, and in 1856 his addition was 
laid out into lots. The Addition originally covered seventy-five acres of land, 
and was the fractional 80 of section 28, township 22. Mr. Blake was Alderman 
of the city during the years 1859-'60. He has always been averse to holding 
public positions, preferring to devote his time to his private interests. Mr. 
Blake is a bachelor. 

William Y. Wetzell was born in the city of Washington, and first came 
to Illinois in May, 1836, locating first in La Salle county, and afterwards near 
Oregon City, Ogle county. In 1848 he came to Whiteside, and settled in Alba- 
ny, and afterwards in Newton township, and in 1865 came to Fulton. He was 
Postmaster at Albany from 1848 to 1851, and Supervisor of that town in 1853. 
In 1875 and '76, he was Mayor of the City of Fulton, and in 1876 was elected 
Supiervisor of the town, and re-elected in 1877. Mr. Wetzell is a merchant, 
and an enterprising, thorough, business man. 

Dr. C. a. GtRISWOLD was born in Saybrook, Connecticut, November 24, 
1830, and graduated at Yale College in the class of 1852. He took the degree 
of Doctor of Medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, in the city of 
New York, in the session of 1855 and '56. In September, 1856, he located in 
Fulton, and has since resided there, practicing his profession. The Doctor 
served three years in the army, as surgeon of the 93d Illinois Volunteers, dur- 
ing the War of the Rebellion. Since that time he has been Examining Sur- 
geon for pensions. He was for two years a Director of the Public Schools of 
Fulton, and Mayor of the city in 1868. The Doctor has also driven the edito- 
rial quill, having been for a time one of the editors of the Fulton Courier. He 
was one of the victims of the Ashtabula horror, and came very near losing his 
life. As a physician he ranks among the very best in this section of the 'State. 
RiCRARD Green came to Fulton from Bono, Lawrence county, Indiana, on 
the 29th of September, 1849, and engaged in business as a merchant, opening 
first in the old store building of Chenery & Phelps, just above the present Pot- 
tery, where he remained for two years and then sold out to Martin Knox. After 
that he moved into a new brick store built expressly for him. This building 
stood next to the present residence of Mr. W. P. Hall. He sold goods there for 
four years, and then moved his store into his present dwelling house, and con- 
tinued business there for over three years, and closed out in 1860 to enter into 
the grain trade, in which he remained until 1870. The store, however, was 
again opened in 1866 in his dwelling house, and remained there for a year in 
charge of his son, Wm. C. Green, 2d, and then moved to the present corner, his 
son continuing in charge until 1870, the firm being R. Green & Son. This firm 
continued until 1877, when another son, Nathaniel, entered the partnership, 
and the firm became R. Green & Sons. The store now occupied by the firm is 
a fine, substantial brick one, seventy-five feet deep, twenty-four wide, two stor- 
ies in height with cellar under the whole building, and was built by the firm in 
1877. The largest stock of dry goods in Fulton is kept in this store. Mr. 
Green has been one of the leading business men in Fulton ever since he became 
a resident, and among other public positions has been Supervisor and Collector 
of the town. He was also Postmaster at Bono, Indiana, before he came to 

John Phelps is a native of Greenfield, Franklin county, Massachusetts, 


and at the age of 17 went to Hartford, Connecticut, where he remained for eight 
years as clerk in a store, and in 1844 came to Whiteside county, and settled in 
Fulton. He at first entered the store of Augustin Phelps as clerk, and after- 
wards became a partner, the firm name being A. & J. Phelps. The firm contin- 
ued to do business until the death of the senior partner, when Mr. Phelps com- 
menced as a merchant upon his t)wn account. In 1855 he disposed of his store 
to Patrick & Hollinshed, and since that time has not engaged in business. Mr. 
Phelps at an early day took an active part in behalf of the interests of Fulton, 
and has been frequently called upon by his fellow citizens to hold public posi- 
tions, having been School Director, Township School Treasurer, Supervisor and 
Assessor of the town. Alderman of the city, etc. He still resides on his old 
homestead near the river. 

David E. Dodge is a native of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, New York, 
and in the spring of 1856 came to Fulton from Syracuse, New York, and has 
made Fulton his home ever since. He was a merchant in Fulton for a long 
time, and then retired, but commenced business again about two years ago, his 
present store being on the corner of Cherry and River streets. He was a Trus- 
tee and Street Commissioner during the time Fulton was a village, and after it 
became a city was Alderman in 1859 and '60, and again in 1868 and '69. In 
1863 he was Mayor of the city. He has also held township offices at various 
times, and in 1874 was elected Coroner of the county. 

Dr. John Eddy is a native of Whitestown, Oneida county. New York; and 
was born July 29, 1800. He came to Illinois in June, 1849, and first settled at 
Naperville, Du Page county, and in 1855 came to Fulton. The Doctor was 
elected Coroner of Whiteside county in I860, and held the office two years. 
He was made a Master Mason in 1823, making him one of the oldest Masons 
in the country. He has also been a Knight Templar since 1848, and has held 
the office of Chaplain in the Royal Arch Chapter for several years. On the 24th 
of January, 1874, Doctor and Mrs. Eddy called around them their friends at 
their golden wedding, an event which very few married couples in this western 
country, or, indeed, in any other, are permitted to celebrate. 

C. S. LuNT first came to Illinois in May, 1836, from Boston, Massachu- 
setts, making his way by canal, stages and lake, and settled first in Chicago, 
where he remained until the spring of 1838, when he came to Dixon, and started 
down Rock river in a small boat, in company with Mr. J. Thompson, landing at 
Rock Island in due time. Not being satisfied with the place, he embarked on 
an up river Mississippi steamer and landed at New York, now Clinton, and then 
walked to Lyons, crossing the river at that place in a large canoe, the only ferry 
then running, to Fulton. In 1839 he bought the claim in Jordan where Dr. 
Pennington's farm is now situated, and built a log house upon it, and in 1840 
moved to Fulton, and purchased a house and several lots of Mr. Church, the lots 
being situated where the college grounds are now. Here he continued to reside 
until the fall of 1852, when he purchased his present farm in Fulton township, 
to which he gave the name of " Cottage Grove Farm." Mr. Lunt has seen a 
good deal of pioneer life, and his reminiscences of the early times are very in- 
teresting. Being of a naturally quiet disposition, he never entered into political 
life, preferring to attend strictly to his private business, and devote his leisure 
moments to literature. He is a man of broad culture, being well versed in both 
the ancient and modern classics. The later years of his life have been passed 
rather secludedly at his beautiful home on Cottage Grrove Farm. 

Col. Samuel Johnston was a native of Johnstown, Montgomery county, 
New York, and came to Illinois in 1834, settling first in Dixon, where he re- 
mained until 1840, when he came to Sterling, and opened the second public 


house in that place. In 1842 he settled in Fulton, and engaged in the hotel 
and merchandising business. Col. Johnston was married to his first wife, Miss 
Hannah Watrous, on the 2d of April, 1799, the following being the children of 
that union: Styres W., Mary Ann, Hannah, S. Watrous, and Elizabeth. Of 
these, Mary Ann and P]lizabeth are ^ead. Elizabeth married Dr. John Nash, 
and moved with her husband to California, and both died there. Styres W., 
lives near Council Bluffs, Iowa. Hannah married Dr. A. Benton, of Fulton, 
and after her husband's death moved to Chicago, where she still resides. S. 
Watrous, or as he is more familiarly known among his friends and acquaintances, 
"Wat.", lives near Fort Scott, Kansas. Col. Johnston's first wife died October 
4, 1818, and on February 28, 1823, he married Miss Rebecca Crawford at Betts- 
burg, Broome county, New York. The only child of this marriage is Mrs. Re- 
becca S. Sayre, the popular proprietress of the Revere House, in Morrison. 
Mrs. Sayre has been twice married, first to Augustin Phelps, one of the earliest 
of Fulton's merchants, and after his death, to Geo. W. Sayre. During his life- 
time Col. Johnston was an active, thorough-going business man, and was one of 
the best known hotel keepers of his day. His hotel in Fulton, called the Ful- 
ton House, was widely and extensively patronized. While a resident of Dixon 
he materially aided in the organization of the first Masonic Lodge at that place, 
and was also one of the first to organize a Masonic Lodge at Fulton. He was 
enthusiastic in all that pertained to Masonic matters, and never missed attend- 
ing a communication of his own Lodge, or of a sister Lodge, whenever he was 
within reaching distance. He died in September, 1854, at South Bend, Indiana, 
and his wife at Fulton on the 23d of December, 1864. 

Charles N. Wheeler is a native of Sharon, Litchfield county, Connecti- 
cut, and was born December 27, 1827. He moved from the " Land of Steady 
Habits" in 1846, and located at Union, Broome county, New York, where he 
remained until December, 1853, when he came to Fulton. In 1856 lie, in com- 
pany with Charles B. Mercereau, built the brick store on the southwest corner 
of Cherry and River streets, now owned and occupied by ex-Mayor William Y. 
Wetzell, where the firm, then known as Mercereau & Wheeler, carried on the 
grocery business. In 1865 Mr. Wheeler purchased the interest of Mr. Merce- 
reau, and continued the business about a year, and then sold to Mr. Wetzell. 
The following year he remained out of business, and in 1868 purchased the 
hardware business of C. F. Welles, situated on Base street, and conducted the 
business at that place until the building burned down in November, 1871. Not 
dismayed by this disaster, he opened another store at the corner of Base street 
and Broadway, now occupied by A. Volkman as a tailoring establishment, and 
remained there until he built his present brick store, on the site of the burned 
building, next door south of the bank. This building is 76 by 24 feet in size, 
and two stories high, the first story being used as the hardware store, and the 
second as a tinshop and storage room. Mr. Wheeler carries a very large stock 
of all kinds of goods in his line, and has an extensive trade. In 1856 he built 
the residence he now occupies. Mr. Wheeler has been an Alderman of the city 
of Fulton, and was Mayor for two terms, being elected first in 1867 and again 
in 1869. In 1858 he was Supervisor of the township. At present he is Treas- 
urer of the Fulton Business Association. This Association has for its object 
the encouragement of all business enterprises in the city. Mr. Wheeler is one 
of the leading business men of the county, public spirited, a good citizen, and 
bears an excellent reputation. 

John Dyer was born in the town of Orleans, Jefferson county, New York, 
March 6, 1824, and upon coming west stayed in Wisconsin from May 1856, un- 
til November of that year, when he went to Clinton, Iowa, where he remained 


until October 5, 1857. when he premanently settled in Fulton. He engaged in 
the boot and shoe trade at first in Fulton in company with George S. Phelps, 
the store standing on the site of Aid. A. D. Mitchell's present store. The part- 
nership existed about six months when Mr. Dyer went into business for himself, 
afterwards in partnership with W. W. Curtis, and so remained until 1861, when 
Mr. Curtis secured a government position at Washington. In September, 1861, 
Mr. Dyer enlisted in what was then known as the Lincoln Regiment, and be- 
came Second Lieutenant of Company F — a company raised mainly through his 
efforts, and was mustered into service in November of thesameyear. The Reg- 
iment was afterwards known as the 52d Illinois Volunteers. He was with this 
Regiment in all of its duties until March 1862, when he was prostrated by 
severe sickness brought on by an unusually heavy cold taken during the previous 
winter in northwestern Missouri, and compelled by reason of it to resign and come 
home. He could not willingly, however, remain at home when his country de- 
manded the services of its loyal citizens in the field, and when the President 
issued the call for more troops in July, 1862, although not fully recovered from 
his late illness, again enlisted, this time being connected with the 93d Illinois 
Volunteers. Company F. of that Regiment, was raised by him, and Captain 
Knight, of Albany, and he again had the position of the Second Lieutenantcy 
conferred upon him. The Regiment went to the front in November, 1862, and 
was with Gen. Sherman at Tallahatchie, expecting to do some severe fighting, 
but when the rebels made the raid on Holly Springs, were ordered back to that 
point, so that during the time Lieut. Dyer belonged to the Regiment, it did not 
take part in any heavy battle. Sickness again overtook him in the spring of 
1863, or in fact never had left him since his attack the year before, and in April 
he resigned and came home. He was prostrated during the following summer 
and fall; and did not resume business until December 1863, when he again be- 
came engaged in the boot and shoe trade, and has so remained, with exception 
of a few months, until the present time. Mr. Dyer has been honored by his fel- 
low citizens with various offices since his residence in Fulton, having been 
elected Collector of the township in 1860; Supervisor in 1868 and 1874, and 
Justice of the Peace in 1871, serving four years. He was Alderman of the city 
for the second ward in 1869 and 1870, and in the spring of 1877 was elected 
Police Magistrate of the city. To each of these offices he brought a faithful 
and intelligent discharge of its duties. 

Orlando Sprague was one of the earlier settlers of Fulton, and for sev- 
eral years was engaged in business in the city, but retired some time ago. Wm. 
H. Knight, now a farmer in the township, was one of the first settlers of what 
is now LTstick township, a biographical sketch of whom appears in the history of 
Ustick. His brothers, John P., and Charles C. Knight came sometime after 
him, and are still residents of Fulton. Carlos N. Ware, now a resident of 
the township, was also one of the earlier settlers of the city. Caleb Clark 
came at an early day, and was quite prominently connected with the ferry, and 
hotel business at that time. For quite a number of years he has not been en- 
gaged in business in the city, although retaining his residence in it. 


History of Fenton Township — Pratt — Fenton Center — Biographical. 

History op Fenton Township. 

The township of Fenton comprises all of Congressional township 20 north, 
range 4 east, north of Rock river, and also so much of section 1, township 19, 
range 4 east, and section 6, township 19 north, range 5 east, as lies north of 
Rock river. The territory now forming the township, formerly belonged to 
Lyndon Precinct, and so remained until the Commissioners appointed by the 
County Commissioners' Court, gave it its name and boundary in 1852. The 
Commissioners appointed in 1849 to locate and give names to townships, but 
whose acts proved to be void for illegality, named the town Eden, and for some 
reason the people clung to that name even up to the township election in 1852, 
after it had been named Fenton by the Commissioners of 1852, as the follow- 
ing record of that election in the books of the Town Clerk, shows: "Eden 
Archives. Township 20 north, range 4 east, and fractional part of township 
20 north, range 5 east, being on section 31 and west of the waters of Rock 
river, and fractional parts of township 19 north of ranges 4 and 5, north of 
Rock river and east of section 4 in township 19 north of range 4 inclusive. 
Also that part of township 20 north, range 4 east, lying south of Rock river 
inclusive. In accordance with the laws of township organization the inhabitants, 
legal voters of the above named township convened at the house of James M. 
Pratt, on the 6th of April, 1852, for the purpose of organizing said town, and 
electing the proper officers in and for said town for the year ensuing, when 
Joseph Fenton was elected Moderator jc»ro teta of said meeting. The voters then 
proceeded to ballot for Moderator, when on canvassing the votes Zera M. Emery, 
was declared elected, and J. D. Odell, Clerk, viva voce, who being duly sworn, 
the meeting was opened by proclamation, and the electors proceeded to ballot 
for town officers for the ensuing year." It will be seen by this record that 
the electors of the town not only adhered to the name of Eden, but gave the 
boundaries of the township differently from those of the Commissioners of 1852. 
All this, however, was afterwards duly remedied. The name of Fenton was 
given to the township in honor of Joseph Fenton, the first settler. 

About one-third of the township was originally low, swampy land, but by 
ditching has been reclaimed, and most of it is now under a high state of culti- 
vation. One county ditch runs through the town, coming in on section 24 on 
the east side, and passing out on the north part of section 30 on the west. 
This ditch empties into Rock creek from the east, and the part starting on the 
west side of the creek runs down through Erie and Newton townships, and 
thence to the Meredocia. There is also a county ditch running into the town 
from the north, which empties into Lynn creek, a short distance from its con- 
fluence with Rock creek.. These ditches have lateral ones running into them, 
so that very good drainage is afforded. Among the unbroken parts of this low 
land, there are about four hundred acres lying in a body, which is used for the 
purpose of pasturage. This body of land is owned by some heirs living at the 
East, and they refuse to dispose of it in parcels, preferring to retain it and pay 



the taxes, unless the whole can be sold together. The price at which it is held, 
we are also informed, is another bar to its sale. The Cattail, a broad slough 
originally, runs into the town a short distance at the central part of the north 
side. The northwest portion of the town is quite rough and hill}-, sections 
seventeen and eighteen particularly so, and for some time after the organization 
of the town remained unsettled. They are now only sparsely settled. The 
town is watered by Rock creek, which flows through it from north to south, 
coming in on section one and passing out on section thirty-three. Upon this 
stream, on the southeast quarter of section 15, a saw mill was built in the fall 
of 1844, by Dexter Wood and Alfred Wood, and afterwards sold to Hiram Har- 
mon, and became known as Harmon's mill, but was abandoned some years ago. 
Lynn creek comes into the town from the north, and empties into Rock creek, 
on section three. On the south the town is bounded by Rock river, along whose 
banks many of the farmers have wood lands. If in fixing the boundaries of the 
political township those of the Congressional township had been followed, Rock 
river would have passed through the southeast part of Fenton. Excellent water 
is also obtained from wells in most parts of the town. 

The first settlements were made along Rock river, in the south part of the 
town, so as to be convenient to both wood and water. The first settler was 
Joseph Fenton, who came with his family, then consisting of his wife and four 
children, from Burlington county. New Jersey, in October, 1835. Mr. Fenton 
first put up a rude cabin in the woods near the bank of Rock river, in Erie 
township, in which himself and family lived from about the first of October, 
1835, until the middle of January, 1836, meanwhile erecting a better one of 
logs on the road near where the present residence now stands. Mrs. Fenton 
relates that the first meal partaken of by the family after their arrival at their 
new home, was prepared in the woods, using a tree that had been blown down 
for a table, and this primitive way of cooking and eating was followed for some- 
time. During that fall and winter the family had about forty Winnebago 
Indians for neighbors, and although they were peaceably inclined, yet caused 
more or less trouble, and occasionally gave ^Irs. Fenton and the children -'aheap 
big scare." They were on a hunting expedition, as Rock river in that vicinity 
was then a favorite resort for deer, and other wild game, and its waters were 
stocked with fish. They remained all winter, and were followed afterwards for 
several years by similar parties of the Winnebago and other tribes. Some of 
the deer paths in that neighborhood, leading from the prairie to the river, re- 
mained visible for a long time. It was not an infrequent occurrence at that 
period for deer to pass up and down these paths every hour during the day. 
The other early settlers were Lyman Bennett, who came in 1836, and is now a 
resident of Albany; Charles Clark, John R. Clark, and Wm. L.Clark, in 1837, the 
latter of whf.m died in 1855. Joseph James, 1837; Earnest Warner, 1837; 
Theron Crook, 1838; Robert G. Clendenin, 1838; Reuben Thompson, 
R. M. Thompson, Samuel A. Thompson^ F. H. Thompson, James Hamilton, 
and G. H. IV'ters and others, in 1841. 

Alfred W. Fenton, son of Joseph and Elizabeth Fenton, was the first white 
child born in what is now known as Fenton township, his birth occurring on the 
13th of May, 1837. Robert S. Fenton, by reason of having been a constant 
resident of the township from 1835 to the present time, claims that he is the 
oldest Fentonian of the male persuasion living in the town, and the palm has 
been gracefully awarded to him by the citizens. The first parties to enter into 
matrimony were Robert G. Clendenin and Miss Hannah Clark, the happy event 
taking place October 3, 1839, and the ceremony performed by Rev. E. H. 
Hazard. Mr. Clendenin was the father of Frank Clendenin, Es{(., Postmaster 


at Morrison, who was born in Fenton in 1840. The first death is thought to 
be that of Miss Esther Peters, and took place in 1841. 

The first road travelled was the one known as the Dixon and Rock Island- 
stage road, and ran through the south part of the town. The celebrated Frink 
& Walker stages used to run upon this road, and in its day it was probably the 
best known highway in this part of the State. The proprietors of the Frink & 
Walker line of stages were energetic and broad minded business men, and de- 
termined to please the public. Their horses and vehicles were the best that 
could be procured, and their time table lived up to as near as horse flesh and 
capable driving would allow. Before the era of railroads these stages carried 
the mails and passengers from Chicago to different points west, and were con- 
sidered prodigies of speed and comfort. This old stage route is now known in 
our southern townships as the Lyndon and Pjrie road, and passes by the farms of 
Solon Stevens, M. M. Potter, J. M. Pratt, Samuel A. Thompson, and those of 
the Fenton and Peters' estates in the township of Fenton. This road was also 
the first legally laid out one after the township organization. 

The first school was taught by Miss Arminta Lathe in a log house owned 
by Mr. James M. Pratt, and situated near his present residence. This was in 
the fall of 1848. The house had been put up some years before by Mr. Pratt, 
and occupied by him as a residence. It was a double structure, and when Miss 
Lathe taught school in it she occupied one part, and a Mr. Hendee and his 
family the other. It did not furnish the kind of school accommodations Fen- 
ton has to-day, but the children who attended there look back with considerable 
pride to the period when they mastered the rudiments of the English branches 
in the old log house. The first public school house was built in District No. 1, 
in 1857, and is known as the Pratt school house. It is a frame structure, 
and Miss Mary Johnson had the honor of teaching young ideas how to shoot 
therein, as soon as its doors were opened. Fenton has now eight school districts, 
and each district has a commodious frame school building. 

About the time Mr. Fenton and Mr. John Freek, until lately a resident of Erie, 
made their claims on section thirty-three, a few persons at Lyndon, purporting 
to be pioneers of a colony soon to emigrate from the Eastern States, claimed, in 
the name of the colony, a right to all the land which could be discovered from 
the tops of the tallest trees in the groves in and around Lyndon, and also the 
right to determine the quantity which each man should possess. These pioneer 
gentlemen made Messrs. Fenton and Freek an official visit, addressed them in 
an official manner, and gave them lines and boundaries, limiting them to eighty 
acres each, and forcibly implied that a strict compliance with these regulations 
would be required, or a removal outside the Lyndonian claim woiild follow in 
case of refusal. Mr. Freek yielded to these imperative demands, and removed 
west of Rock creek into the township of Erie, built him a house at the head of 
Lake Erie, where he lived a peaceful, honest, happy, and enviable life, with his 
latch-string always out, and the poor never turned away empty. But Mr. Fen- 
ton, planting himself firmly on the common law of squatter sovereignty, repu- 
diated stoutly this agrarian law, which repudiation was couched in the pointed 
and forcible language then in use on the frontier, and not yet obsolete, though 
not sanctioned by Webster's Dictionary nor Dwight's Theology. It had, how- 
ever, the desired effect of repelling the Lyndonian invaders, and leaving Mr. 
Fenton " alone in his glory " and the peaceable possession of his two hundred 
and fifteen acres, for which the Grovernment afterwards received its proper due 
of $1.25 per acre. Soon after these Lyndonian-Fentonian troubles, a report 
obtained East that the Indians had murdered and scalped all the inhabitants in 
these parts, and consequently the settlement of the township, as well as of the 


country around, was seriously retarded for several years. This report was evi- 
dently started for ulterior purposes, as there was no foundation for it, the In- 
dians then being peaceably inclined. 

In 1836 Lyman Bennett, now a resident of Albany, made a claim north of 
Portland ferry, and in 1837 Thomas Gould settled east of Rock creek, on land 
now owned by James M. Pratt. In 1837 William Clark and in 1838 Robert 
G. Clendenin settled in the township, the former on the farm now owned by R. 
M. Thompson, and the latter on the farm now owned by M. M. Potter, Esq. 
Mr. Clark was the father of Capt. Alpheus Clark, who was so highly esteemed 
in this county, and who was mortally wounded June 9, 1863, at Beverly Ford, 
Virginia, and died in the hospital at Georgetown, D. C, July 5, 1863. Mr. 
Clendenin was a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and remained in Fenton 
until 18-44, when he removed to Lyndon. A full biographical sketch of Mr. 
Clendenin will be found in the history of Lyndon township. In 1840 J. B. 
Peters, now deceased, settled on the east bank of Rock creek, near Mr. Fenton's 
place, and in 1841 his brother, George H. Peters, also now deceased, arrived 
from Adams, Massachusetts, purchased a claim of one hundred and forty acres 
from Theron Crook, and paid the Government price ($175), earning the amount 
by laboring at the rate of fifty cents per day. Mrs. Peters states that in those 
early days her husband used to sell his wheat in Chicago and his pork in Ga- 
lena, receiving for his wheat thirty cents per bushel, and for his pork, after de- 
ducting expenses for marketing, seventy-five cents per hundred weight. 

As near as can be ascertained, the first export from Fenton was two thousand 
pounds of beef, by Mr. Fenton, to Galena, in 1836, for which he received two 
and a half cents per pound. He next exported to Sterling, then a Western 
city of a few dwellings and a store, a load of pork, which he sold to the firm of 
Barnett & Mason for six dollars per hundred. The reason assigned for the 
hio'h price then obtained was that the people of Sterling had been without meat 
for some time, were " hungry for pork,'' and would have it at any price. Many 
of the citizens followed his wagon as he drove to the store, earnestly request- 
ino- him to let them have a piece, but he had sold it all to the storekeepers, and 
to them they were compelled- to go for the coveted morsel. 

As a further illustration of the hardships the pioneers and their families 
had to endure, it is related by Mrs. Fenton that when the family first came to 
Rock creek they were compelled to live for several months in a little, cold hut, 
part of the time with and part of the time without food ; getting their potatoes 
from Rock Island, their corn meal from Henderson Grove, their venison and 
wild turkey from the Indians (when they had meal to give in exchange) ; going 
to bed without supper when no meal was on hand, the potatoes all gone, and 
no kind Indian at hand to hold up his turkey and say " swap," or if one was at 
hand the meal sack would be empty, and he Avould go away mealless and spirit- 
less, and Mrs. Fenton and the children retire with the setting sun to sleep the 
sleep of the supperless. The want of money was felt in more ways than one, 
not the least of which was the wherewith to pay postage upon letters received 
from loved ones at home. Cheap postage did not then obtain, which added 
another hardship to the settler. A letter now costing only three cents for mail 
transportation, then cost twenty-five cents. As an instance of the difficulty of 
getting letters out of the postoffice in early times, we give the one told to 
Prof. M. R. Kelly, of Morrison, by the late George H. Peters, of Fenton. The 
instance will answer for hundreds of others. Some time after the settlement 
of Mr. Peters on the Fenton flats, it was reported that a letter had arrived for 
him from the East, and was at the Lyndon Postoffice, awaiting his call. He 
hastened to the office and called for it, when, to his surprise and disappoint- 


ment, he was told by the obdurate Postmaster that before receiving it he must 
pay the postage. " How much is it ? " tremblingly inquired Mr. Peters. 
" Twenty-iive cents," was the short reply. " Haven't got it," was the melan- 
choly response. Hastily departing, Mr. Peters sought work, found it, earned 
the twenty-five cents, and with that amount of the coin of the realm released 
the fond missive from the official bondage which held it from his embrace. 

Among the reminiscences of the town is one related of an early settler who 
resided near Rock river. At that period the lands thereabouts were liable to 
overflow in times of high water, and the settler to guard his house from inun- 
dation built a sod fence around it, leaving only a space sufficient to drive in with 
his team. This space was protected by bars. A heavy freshet came in due 
time, and the settler was almost drowned out. When asked how it came that 
his sod fence did not prevent the water from nearly carrying away his house and 
family, the reason seemed so strike him at once, and he replied, "I declare, I 
forgot to put up my bars !" The first constable in Fenton made out his bond in 
the following form, with the exception of the name which is a fictitious one : "I 
John Smith, do solemnly swear that I will perform my duties as constable to the 
best of my ability, so help me God." The Supervisor to whom this unique bond 
was sent, returned it to the newly elected conservator of the peace with the re- 
mark, that while it might do well enough for an oath, it was hardly the square 
thing for a bond. The constable went away pondering what new fangled notions 
people would get up next as to officer's bonds and ''other fixins." At the an- 
nual town meeting held in April, 1866, it was voted to make "every elector on 
the poll list a pound master, clothed with the authority to impound all stock, 
hogs, horses, mules and asses unlawfully running at large, and to advertise and 
sell the same." This liigh honor was not very highly appreciated by many of the 
voters, and the next year the vote was reconsidered, and a smaller and more 
select number of pound masters appointed. 

The following have been the Supervisors, Town Clerks, Assessors, Collec- 
tors, and Justices of the Peace, from the organization of the town until the 
present time : 

Supervisors ;— 1852-55, James M. Pratt; 1856-'57, Alfred Freeman; 1858, 
Hiram Harmon; 1859-'60, Alfred Freeman; 1861-62, Joseph R. Paul; 1863- 
'64, Reuben M. Thompson; 1865, Arthur McLane; 1866-70, James M. Pratt; 
1871-72, Arthur McLane; 1873, Reuben M. Thompson; 1874-'76, James M. 
Pratt; 1877, M. 0. Hurless. 

Totvn Clerks:— 18b2, J. D. Odell; 1853-'54, H. M. Baker; 1855, Thomas 
J. Olds; 1856-60, James Wood; 1861, Thomas J. Olds; 1862-'63, James Wood; 
1864, Thomas J. Olds; 1865, A. S. Pratt; 1866-72, George W. Wood; 1873, 
H. L. Ewing; 1874-'77, Joseph Pinkley. 

Assessors . -—1852, Thomas W. Havens; 1853, H. W. Cushman; 1854, 
Thomas W. Havens; 1855, Thomas J. Olds; 1856-'60, Joseph R. Paul; 1861 
Thomas J. Olds; 1862, James N. Bull; 1863, John J). Fenton; 1864, L. J. 
Robinson; 1865, J. L. Showalter; 1866, L. J.Robinson; 1867, A. S. Round; 
1868-70, Arthur McLane; 1871, A. B. Mahany; 1872-73, Henry Likes; 1874 
-'76, A. B. Mahany; 1877, L. J. Robinson. 

Collectors .•— 1852-'53, Reuben M. Thompson; 1854-'55, Morrill P. Carr; 
1856, Henry Francis; 1857, C. D. Finney; 1858, C E. Coburn; 1859, L. J. 
Robinson; 1860-63, Leonard Cady; 1864-'66, A. B. Mahany; 1867, Jacob Mil- 
ler; 1868-'69, Thomas J. Olds; 1870-'77, John L. Showalter. 

Justices of the Peace: — 1852-'57, Hiram Harmon, Martin M. Potter; 1858 
-'59, Martin M. Potter, Joseph R. Paul; 1860, Joseph R. Paul, George M. Cole; 
1862, Martin M. Potter; 1864, Martin M. Potter, Joseph R. Paul; 1865, J. C. 


Train; 18G8, Joseph Pinkley. Reuben M. Thompson; 1869, Martin M. Potter; 
1872-77, Martin M. Potter, Joseph Pinkley. 

A church edifice was erected on the northeast corner of section 17, in the 
summer and fall of 1870, known as the New Lebanon church, and is owned by 
the United Brethren Society. It was built under the superintendence of Rev. 
Mr. Rogers, a minister of the United Brethren denomination, although persons 
of all denominations residing in the neighborhood contributed to its construc- 
tion. The United Brethren Society had been organized, and held meetings in 
Lynn creek schoolhouse sometime previous to the building of the church. Be- 
sides this Society, the Brethren in Christ hold monthly meetings in the edifice, 
having Rev. A. Good, as their pastor, and also the Methodist Episcopal Society 
whenever they have a pastor. At present the latter are without stated supply. 
The building is situated on high ground, and commands a fine view of the sur- 
rounding country. The Dunkards hold monthly meetings in the Sand Ridge 
schoolhouse. The members of other denominations residing in town attend 
church either at Morrison, Erie, Garden Plain or Newton. 

The Rockford, Rock Island & St Louis Railroad, now under control of the 
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway Company, and the Mendota branch of the 
Chicago. Burlington & Quincy Railway, pass through the south part, the 
latter almost diagonally from southeast to northwest. There are three depots 
upon these roads within the town limits, one at Pratt on the R. R. I. & St Louis 
road; one at Fenton Center on the C. B. & Q., road, and another on the same 
road where the R., R. I. & St Lonis, and C. B. & Q. roads cross each other, a 
short distance above Pratt. The latter depot is used principally for transfer of 
freight from one road to the other. Since the R., R. I. & St Louis road has 
come into the hands of the C. B. & Q. Company, freight coming from the south 
and destined for Chicago is taken off at this depot, and transferred to the cars 
on the other road, and when it comes down from Chicago or points east for Rock 
Island and other points south and west, it is taken from the cars of the C. B. & 
Q. road and placed upon those of the R., R. I. & St Louis road. By this means 
freight gathered along the line of the latter road can be taken directly to Chi- 
cago by the C B. & Q. road. 

Fenton township contains 11,475 acres of improved land, and 10,715 of 
unimproved. The Assessor's book for 1877 shows the number of horses in the 
township to be 443; the number of cattle, 1,483; of mules and asses, 40; of 
sheep, 109; of hogs, 1,888; carriages and wagons, 149; sewing and knitting ma- 
chines, 79; watches and clocks, 99; pianofortes, 2; melodeons and organs, 13. 
Total value of lands, lots and personal property, $328,192; value of railroad 
property, $34,039. Total value of all property in 1877, $362,1 50._ 

The population of the township in 1870, as appears by the United States 
census reports of that year, was 758, of which 654 were of native birth, and 
104 of foreign. The population in 1860 was 639. The estimated population 
in 1877, is 1,000. 

The elevation of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad track in Fen- 
ton township is 24 and 60-lOOths feet above low water in Lake Michigan, and 
607 and 60-lOOths feet above the level of the sea. 


Soon after the completion of the Rockford, Rock Island & St. Louis Rail- 
road from Sterling to Rock Island, a station was established on the farm of 
James M. Pratt, and Mr. Pratt appointed Station Agent. In November, 1869, 
a Postaffice was also established at this place, and named Pratt by the Govern- 
ment, and James M. Pratt appointed Postmaster, which position he has since 


continued to fill. In 1870 the citizens in the vicinity built a new freight and 
passenger depot, in which the Postoffice is kept. The place was platted a few 
years ago, and is called the village of Pratt. 

Fenton Center. 

The village of Fenton Center was platted in 1872, by James Usom, who 
owned the forty acres upon which it stands, immediately upon the construction 
of the Mendota branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad through 
the township. The railroad runs diagonally through the village, the land upon 
which the track lies and the depot and water tank are built, ten acres in all, be- 
ing deeded to the railroad company by Usom. Before the railroad run through 
it, the place was mostly covered with scrub timber, and the balance not even 
broken up. The largest part of the plat covers quite a bluflF, and upon this 
bluff the buildings at present are nearly all situated. The business places are a 
general merchandise store, a drug store, blacksmith shop, shoe shop, and har- 
ness shop, and one elevator, which, together with the dwellings and the railroad 
depot, make sixteen building in the village. It has also a physician. Dr. M. D. 
Allen. The elevator was built in 1872 and '73 by Geo. W. Wood, who com- 
menced buying grain in the spring of the latter year, and continued to do so un- 
til the fall, when he sold the building to Reuben M. Thompson, the present 
owner. After his purchase Mr. Thompson leased the elevator to Mr. Brewer. 
Abner and M. 0. Hurless succeeded Mr. Brewer as lessees, and at present M. 
0. Hurless is the sole lessee. Mr. Plurless buys considerable grain, frequently 
having the elevator full. It is said that the village acquired its name in this 
manner: One morning soon after the elevator was erected, a board was found 
nailed to the building, the work of some one during the night, upon which was 
printed in bold letters, the words " Fenton Center," and as the name was so ap- 
propriate, the village being situated nearly in the center of the township, it was 
determined then and there to adopt the name. 

The Postoffice now at Fenton Center was established in 1870, and then 
called Fenton. L. S. Burritt was the first Postmaster, and kept the office at 
his house, a short distance south of the present United Brethren Church. Mr. 
Burritt continued Postmaster until the railroad ran through the town, and a 
depot and elevator were built at Fenton Center, when it was removed to that 
place, and Geo. W. Wood appointed Postmaster. Mr. Wood held the position 
about a year, and was succeeded by Wm. Miller, who continued in office only 
six months, when he resigned, and M. 0. Hurless, the present Postmaster, was 

Joseph Fenton was born in Burlington county. New Jersey, September 
12, 1794, and came to Whiteside county in October, 1835, settling upon the 
farm in Fenton township where his widow and a part of his family still reside. 
He was married to Miss Elizabeth Durell, at Burlington city, New Jersey, in 
April, 1826. The children of this marriage have been: Elwood W., born Jan- 
uary 23, 1827; Joseph R., March 27, 1829; Elizabeth H.. July 9, 1831; John 
D., November 10, 1832; Robert S., October 6, 1834: Alfred W., May 13, 1837; 
Mary E., December 18, 1839; Sylvester H., August 27, 1841; Henry C, July 
3, 1845. The only death in the family has been that of Elizabeth H., which 
occurred at the old home in New Jersey, on the 25th of July, 1833. Elwood 
W. married Annette E. Wonser, and lives at Amidore, California; Joseph R. 
lives at Oakland, California, and married since his settlement there; John D. 
married Marcia Wonser, and lives at Erie; Robert S. married Josie Cross, and 


lives at Fenton; Alfred W. is unmarried, and lives at Erie; Mary E. married 
Elson Medhurst, and lives in Fenton; Sylvester H. married Amanda Medhurst, 
and lives at Alphage. Henry county, Illinois; and Henry C. married Amanda 
Smith, and lives at Erie. Mr. Fenton was the earliest settler in what is now 
known as Fenton township, and one of the earliest in Whiteside county. With 
the pioneers he suflFered all the privations incident to a new and unsettled 
country, and with them grappled with all the obstacles in the way with an ener- 
gy and perseverance born of a conquering will. Men of less determination than 
our pioneers might have given up in despair, and gone back to the homes where 
they were reared, but not so with them. They had come to remain, and with 
that view set themselves resolutely at work to overcome all obstacles. Many 
of them became affluent in worldly circumstances, and among these was Mr. 
Fenton. Those who knew Mr. Fenton in his lifetime speak of him as a man 
of strict integrity, sound judgment, great industry, and of a peculiarly kind and 
obliging disposition. He was averse to holding public positions, and only ac- 
cepted some of the minor offices of the township. His great delight was his 
home. He died on the 28th of September, 187-i, at the age of eighty years. 
His widow, now 74 years of age, is still living at the old homestead. 

James M. Pratt is a native of Aurora, Erie county, New York, and was 
born April 7, 1822. At the age of fifteen became to Lyndon, Whiteside coun- 
ty, with his parents, and has been a resident of the county ever since. His 
father, John C. Pratt, visited Lyndon first in 1835, and made his claims, and 
two years afterwards brought on his family. James M. remained in Lyndon un- 
til the fall of 1854, when he moved to his present farm in Fenton. On the 17th 
of November, 1844, he married Miss Lucinda Emerj', and the following have 
been the children of this marriage : Beancy L., born August 19, 1845; Mari- 
ette M., January 27. 1848; John C, February 11, 1851; Dora V., April 13, 1853; 
Cyrus E., January 27, 1855; Allen M.. November 12, 1856; Ella J., October 21, 
1858; James C, October 21, 1860; Manson W., November 30, 1863; Richard 
E., March 17, 1866; Volney P., and Viola J., twins, August 8, 1868. Of these 
Beancy L.. Richard E., Volney P., and Viola J., are dead. Mariette J. married 
S. S. Chamberlin, and is a resident of Dunlap, Iowa; John C. married Susan 
Mahany, and lives in Fenton; Dora V. married Wallace Thompson, and lives in 
Fenton; Cyrus E. married Anna Reisinbigler, and lives in Fenton; Ella J., 
James C, and Manson W., are still with their parents at the homestead in Fen- 
ton. Mr. Pratt is a man of fine executive ability, clear judgment, ready tact, 
and of unswerving integrity, and hence was early looked to as a proper person 
to hold offices of public trust and confidence. At the first election after the 
township organization he was elected Supervisor, and has held that office at dif- 
ferent times for a period of about twelve years. For some of the time he was 
chairman of the Board of Supervisors. He has also been Commissioner of High- 
ways for the town of Fenton, aggregating fourteen years. When the Whiteside 
County Central Agricultural Society was organized in 1872, he was elected its 
first President, and has been re-elected every year since. To his energy and in- 
fluence the Society owes much of the success which has attended it. At the 
establishment of the Postoffice at Pratt, in November, 1869, he was appointed 
the first Postmaster, and has continued in the position from that time. Mr. 
Pratt's farm consists of 1010 acres in a body, lying on sections twenty-two, 
twenty-three and twenty-six, besides 60 acres of wood land on Rock River. A 
large part of the former has been brought under a good state of cultivation, and 
produces abundantly. The possession of this extensive tract of land makes him 
next the largest landowner in the town, if not in the county. For several years 
he has been devoting considerable of his attention to raising fowls, and now has 


the finest varieties and the largest number of any man in Whiteside. His fowls 
have taken the premiums at every Fair where they have been exhibited. Mr. 
Pratt is one of the self made men of the county, and travels on the broad gauge 
in religious matters. 

Martin M. Potter was born at Richfield, Otsego county, New York, Oc- 
tober 28, 1812, and came to Whiteside county August 11, 1837, settling first 
at Prophetstown ferry, where he remained four years, and then moved to Union 
Grove, where he also remained four years, and then returned to Prophetstown 
ferry. Here he lived until 1851, when he settled on his present farm in Fen- 
ton. Mr. Potter married his first wife, Miss Diantha D. Pratt, sister of James 
M. Pratt, in Aurora, Erie county, New York, November 28, 1836. By this 
marriage he had the following children: Eliza Jane, born October 17, 1837; De 
Witt Clinton, July 25, 1839; Charles W., October 19, 1841, and James M., March 
6, 1843. His wife died on the 2d of November, 1846, and on the 22d of July, 
1847, he married his second wife. Miss Selina Perry. The following have been 
the children by this marriage: George A., born May 3, 1849; Florence L., June 20, 
1851; Henry C, September 22, 1853; Emory D., February 17, 1856; Sarah S., 
March 9, 1858: Frank M., September 5, 1860; John F., July 11, 1866, and 
Mary, November 27, 1868. The eldest of the children by the first wife, Eliza 
Jane, married David P. Perry, who died while in service during the late war, 
leaving her a widow with two children. She afterwards married Geo. McKnight, 
and died June 6, 1870. James M. died October 12, 1846, and Mary, December 
26, 1868. De Witt C. married Harriet Brown, and is a resident of Shelby 
county, Iowa; Chas W. mai-ried Harriet Shorrett, and also lives in Shelby county, 
Iowa; George A. married Emma M. Thompson, and lives in Fenton; Florence 
L. married Nelson W. Stone, and lives in Prophetstown; Henry C. married 
Phajbe M. Richmond, and lives in Lyndon; Sarah S. married Caleb B. Smith, 
and lives in Lyndon; Emory D., Frank M., and John F., reside at home. Mr. 
Potter was one of the first Justices of the Peace elected in Fenton, and has 
held the office almost uninterruptedly since. He has also frequently been School 
Trustee, and School Treasurer of the town. When the project was started to 
form an Old Settlers' Association, with an annual meeting and basket picnic, he 
was one of the most active and energetic in its advocacy, and to him the success 
which attended the effort is in a great measure due. His position at these yearly 
gatherings of Whiteside's pioneers, is usually that of chairman of the commit- 
tee of arrangements, which not only involves a great responsibility, but entails 
a very large amount of labor. These are met by a skill and judgment as cred- 
itable to him as they are advantageous to the occasion. Mr. Potter's farm lies 
on sections 23, 24 and 25, and consists of 320 acres, all of which is in a body, 
and is under a fine degree of cultivation. He has also twenty acres of wood 
land on section 36. 

Solon Stevens is a native of the town of Standing Stone, Bradford county, 
Pennsylvania, and was born October 23, 1820. He came to Whiteside county 
first in 1844, on a prospecting tour, staying one year, and then returned to the 
East. Visions of the beautiful prairies and their almost unlimited productive- 
ness, however, when compared with the stubborn soil of the Pennsylvania hills 
and mountains, were too vivid and enchanting to allow him to remain away from 
them, and in 1851 he came back, and settled permanently in Fenton township. 
Mr. Stevens was married to Miss Charlotte M. Smith, in Albany, Pennsylvania, 
on the 17th of March, 1844, and the children have been: Charlotte A., Martha 
E., John E., Ann C, Ettie M., Emma A., and Susan. All are living excepting 
Susan. Charlotte A. married Jesse W. Scott, and lives in Montmorency; Mar- 
tha E. married Charles S. Sage, and lives in Pottawatamie, Iowa; John E. 


married Lela Emery, and lives in Fenton; Ann C, Ettie M., and Emma A., are 
unmarried and reside at home. When Mr. Stevens came to settle permanently 
in Whiteside he was the possessor of only a little over one hundred dollars, but 
by industry, energy and perseverance, combined with a clear judgment and keen 
foresight, he is now the owner of several hundred acres of good land, with nearly 
all of it under a fine state of cultivation. His farm consists of 340 acres on 
sections 24 and 25, in Fenton, and 40 acres in Lyndon, adjoining Fenton, mak- 
ing 380 acres in all. He also owns 12 acres of wood land, on section 3. To such 
indefatigable men as Mr. Stevens, a county owes much for its advancement and 

George H. Peters was a native of North Adams, Massachusetts, and born 
March 12, 1812. In 1841 he came to Whiteside, and settled in Fenton, wh-ere 
he purchased a large tractof land near Rock river. Upon taking possession, he 
commenced work resolutely to bring it under a proper state of cultivation, and 
in a few years had a fine farm. On the 6th of May, 1838, he married Miss 
Charity Smith, at Petersburg, Rensselaer county. New York. The following 
have been the children: Jerome Darwin, Minerva Jane, Esther H., and George 
A. The eldest, Jerome Darwin, died while quite young. Minerva Jane mar- 
ried Levi Strunk, and died December 24, 1876; Esther H. married Frank Ham- 
ilton, and lives in Fenton; George A. married Mary A. Hamilton, and also re- 
sides in Fenton. Mr. Peters died September 8, 1873. 

Joseph James was born in Bristol, England, on the 21st of April, 1814, 
and emigrated to America in May, 1830, settling first at Flemington, New Jer- 
sey. In May, 1836, he came to Whiteside county, and located a homestead on 
section 33, in Fenton township, upon which he resided until his death, October 
9, 1875. He helped put up the first log cabin in Erie township, and at the time 
of his decease was one of the oldest settlers in the south part of Whiteside 
county. On the 9th of March, 1843, he was united in marriage to Miss Jane 
Medhurst, in Monmouth, Warren county, Illinois, who still survives him. Their 
union was blessed with eight children, five of whom are yet living. Mr. James 
was a kind and aff'ectionate husband, an indulgent father, a genial and accom- 
modating neighbor, a patriotic citizen, and a whole-souled, upright man. 

Reuben Thompson was a native of the State of Vermont, and was born 
January 10, 1794. His parents moved to New York State when he was quite 
young. He remained in that State until 1818, when he settled in the town of 
Salem, Meigs county, Ohio, and in December, 1841, came to Whiteside county 
and purchased a farm in section thirty-five in the present township of Fenton. 
In 1816 he married Miss Philinda Kent, the following being the children of that 
union: Mary, died in infancy in New York State; Elisha K., born March 18, 
1822; Samuel A., born July 30, 1823; Reuben M., born December 27, 1825; 
James I., born December 6, 1827. Mrs. Thompson died in 1827 at Salem, Meigs 
county, Ohio, at the age of thirty-two years. On the 10th of January, 1828, 
Mr. Thompson married his second wife, Mrs. Esther Robinson, widow of Fain 
Robinson. She had three children by her first husband, to-wit: Linneus J., 
born June 24, 1822; Emily A., born September 3, 1823, and AVilliam L., born 
July 5, 1825. The following are the children of Mi*. Thompson by his marriage 
with Mrs. Robinson: Esther L., and Sarah T., twins, born November 1,1829; 
Fain H., born March 4, 1832; Joseph M., born December 1, 1834; Eliza A., 
born January 6, 1836; Virginia R., born December, 8, 1838; George W., born 
March 26, 1842; Mary A., born April 22, 1844, and died October 14, 1845; 
Helen M., born January 15,1848. Elisha K. 7Vto??ipsoH married Miss Nancy 
Gilman, at Meigs county, Ohio, June 27, 1847, and has had five children, two 
of whom are dead; resides in Lyndlon, ^arrywl A- Thompson married Mrs. 


Elizabeth B. Bull, March 28, 1858; has two children; resides in Fenton; he is a 
large land owner, and extensive farmer. Reuhen M. Thompson married Miss 
Matilda Dodge, December 25, 1850; has ten children; resides in Fenton. 
Sarah T. Thompson married Dr. Clinton Pratt, February 23, 1852; has three 
children; is now a widow, and resides in Morrison; Esther L. Thompso7i mar- 
ried Leonard W. Barker, July 4, 1854; has five children; resides in Erie. 
Joseph M. 7^/to?npsort married Miss Francis Wood November 16, 1857; has eight 
children; resides in* Shelby county, Iowa. Virginia R. Thompson married 
Benj. F. Hubbart, February 11, 1857; has four children; resides in Erie. 
Eliza A. Thompson married George W. Wood; has five children; resides in De- 
Kalb county, Illinois. George W. Thomjjson married Miss Susan Farrar, 
December, 1865; has five children; resides in Dunlap, Iowa. Fain H. Thomp- 
son married Miss E. A. Mills, December 23, 1867; has six children; resides in 
Fenton. Helen A. Thompson married Lafayette Pace, November 25, 1871 ; has 
one child; resides in Erie. Emily A. Robinson married Nelson Row, December 
25, 1842; had three children; died in Scott county, Iowa, December 11, 1855. 
Linneus J. Robinson married Miss Sarah Jeffers, May 17, 1852; has five 
children; resides in Fenton. William L. Robinson married Miss Eliza McNeal, 
November 16, 1849; has four children; resides in Anawan, Henry county, 
Illinois. Mr. Thompson died May 30, 1850. The widow is still living in 

Reuben M. Thompson was born in the town of Salem, Meigs county, 
Ohio, December 27, 1825, and came to Whiteside county in the fall of 1839, 
stopping first at Union Grove mill. During the same fall he went to Iowa 
and prospected for a year, and then returned to Whiteside and settled in what 
is now the township of Fenton, where he has since resided. On the 25th of 
December, 1844, Mr. Thompson married Miss Matilda S. Dodge, a native of Stark 
county, Illinois. Their children have been: Esther Philinda, born January 16, 
1851; John L., born March 26, 1852; James Amasa. March 13, 1854; Albert 
Levi, July 13, 1857; Clara Lydia, December 8, 1860; Francis Eli, July 23, 1863; 
Rhoda M., March 8, 1866; Eva Leona, July 5, 1868; Martin Ray, September 
19, 1871, and Henry Clay, September 20, 1875. Of these, James Amasa died 
August 17, 1859, and Francis Eli, December 28, 1866. Esther Philinda mar- 
ried H. L. Ewing, and resides in Fenton. Mr. Thompson owns 1,863 acres of 
land, all of which is situated in Fenton township, constituting him the largest 
land holder in the township, and without doubt in the county. A large portion 
of this land he has brought under a good state of cultivation. He is also an 
extensive stock raiser and dealer, owns the grain elevator at Fenton Center, 
and is one of the go-ahead, intelligent, and successful business men of Fenton 
township. Mr. Thompson has held the position of Supervisor for Fenton for a 
number of terms, and has also been Constable, and Collector of the township. 

Edward J. Ewers was born October 20, 1813, in Loudon county, Virginia, 
and came to Albany, Whiteside county, in March, 1839, where he remained 
until 1843 when he settled in what is now Fenton township. Mr. Ewers was 
married to Miss Mary Davis on the 22d of May, 1842, in Plymouth, Richland 
county, Ohio. Mrs. Ewers is a native of Killingly, Windham county, Con- 
necticut, and was born March 27, 1815. The names of their children are: 
George N., born March 7, 1843; Sarah A., born April 12, 1844; Ellen E., born 
December 18, 1845; William D.,born October 5. 1847; Mary E.,born November 
2, 1849; Amy V., born December 29, 1852; Edward F., born May 10, 1855, and 
Jesse A., born June 20, 1858. Of these Sarah A. died May 10, 1853. George 
N. married Miss Jennie Hitt, and resides in Albin, Monroe county, Iowa. 
William D. married Miss Kate Priestly, and resides in Fenton. Mr. Ewers has 


always been an earnest advocate of public education, and has taken a com- 
mendable interest in tbe public schools of his township. To his efforts 
in a great degree the citizens of the town are indebted for the facilities they 
enjoy for the education of their children. He is at present the School Treas- 
urer of the township. Mr. Ewers owns a fine farm of three hundred acres, on 
gection twenty. 


History of Garden Plain Township — Biographical. 

History of Garden Plain Township. 

Although this township was first settled at an early day, reference being 
had to the chronological history of the county, it never became a precinct by 
itself, and only attained a distinct organization when the Commissioners ap- 
pointed by the County Commissioners' Court fixed the boundaries and gave 
names to the difi"erent townships of the county, in 1852, under the township 
organization law. Previous to that time it first formed a part of Van Buren 
Precinct, and then of Albany Precinct, the village of Albany being the voting 
place, and where for a long time grain and produce were taken, and marketing 
done. The township includes all of township twenty-one north of base line, 
range three east of the 4th Principal Meridian. A range of bluflfs extends 
diagonally through the north part, commencing near the Mississippi river on 
the west and reaching to the Fulton and Ustick line on the northeast, where it 
connects with the range running through the latter town. North of this range 
the land is partly sandy, and partly of a deep loam, skirted along the river bank 
by a growth of small timber. The western outlet of the Cattail runs through a 
part of this low, loamy land. In this part of the town is situated what is 
known as the Holland Settlement, made up of thrifty, frugal families from the 
land of dykes and canals. South of the bluffs the surface of the land is rolling, 
the soil of peculiar richness, and the scenery, dotted as it is by finely erected 
farm houses, ample orchards, and well arranged shade trees, is one great beauty. 
A ride through the town when the harvest sun has ripened the waving grain 
and given the towering corn its deepest hue of green, as witnessed upon the 
broad fields which stretch far away on either hand, is one of infinite pleasure, 
and never to be forgotten. The name of Garden Plain was rightfully and prop- 
erly given to this township. Nature and man have both made it a garden, and 
he who owns a portion of its fertile acres can congratulate himself upon being 
one of the favored few whose heritage is in a goodly land. The honor of naming 
the town is attributed to Col. Samuel M. Kilgore.- The township is watered by 
Spring, Cedar, Lynn and Cattail creeks, and also by wells of unusual excellence. 
In both the east and west parts are groves of forest trees, and the same kind of 
trees are also scattered along the bluff. 

The first settler in the town was Abel Parker, who came in the spring of 
1836 from the town of Wells, Rutland county, Vermont, and made a claim and 
" built a cabin in what is now known as Parker's Grove, preferring, like nearly 
all of the settlers of that day, timber land to the open prairie. A few years of 
experience, however, drew them out of the groves to the broad, open expanse 
which nature had endowed with unsurpassed fertility, and there in the luxuriant 
prairie grass, and among the wild prairie flowers, they began to build their 
homes. Soon after he made his claim, Mr. Parker brought on his family, con- 
sisting of six sons, David, Jacob, Truman, Francis, Edwin and Hiram, and three 
daughters, Clarissa, Eliza and Mina, all of whom are now living except David 
and Mina. Mr. Parker died in IS-IO. Clarissa, the eldest daughter, married 
Samuel Bobbins in 1839, and Eliza married Henry M. Grinnold during the same 


year. Mina married John Grant some years after. Both Mrs. Robbins and 
Mrs. Grrinnold are widows, the former living in Carroll county and the latter in 
the city of Fulton. Mr. Grrinnold died and was buried on the plains of Colora- 
do, while returning from the Rocky Mountains. The sons living are still resi- 
dents of Garden Plain. Previous to Mr. Abel Parker's coming, a Mr. Cook had 
bought a claim on the bank of the Mississippi river, in the township, but as he 
did not reside there long he is not classed by the people as an old settler. It 
is supposed he purchased the claim of John Baker, the first settler of Fulton. 
The place is now used for a pasture by Dr. H. M. Booth, of Albany. 

Charles R. Rood also came in 1836, arriving in October, at Albany, where 
he remained for three years. In 1839 he bought land on section 22 of the 
present township of Garden Plain, and improved forty acres of it the next year. 
In 1837 Ira Burch and Joseph Bacon bought claims on sections 12 and 13, 
although they resided on lands adjoining in Union Grove township. The former 
was the father of Messrs. Thomas J., Harrison D., and Ira S. Burch, and Mrs. 
George Cluif, now residing in Garden Plain. He died previous to 1840. 
Thomas Sey came in the same^year, and settled on a part of what is now known 
as the Ham farm. He died soon after, and in 1839 his widow married Stephen 
Sweet. She died in the fall of 1862. Mr. and Mrs. Sey had an only son, named 
Thomas, who was killed during the late war. John Redfern also came as early 
as 1837, and settled near the Ham farm. Both Mr. Redfern and [his wife are 
now dead. 

Isaac Crosby and wife, with Elijah Knowlton, came from Massachusetts in 

1838, and settled near Cedar creek, where they built a log cabin which stood on 
the same site now occupied by the house of Mrs. John Kilgore. Mr. Knowlton 
died in this cabin in 1838. Samuel Searle boarded with Mr. and Mrs. Crosby 
while they lived there, and improved a part of the farm now owned by Thomas 
Wilson. Mr. Crosby afterwards bought the farm, a little east of the Garden 
Plain Corners, on which he now resides. In 1839 James A. Sweet came from 
Seneca county. New York, and settled at Parker's Grove at first, and then pur- 
chased the farm at the Corners, where he still lives. Col. Samuel M. Kilgore 
also came that year, and settled in what is known as Baird's Grove. Col. Kil- 
gore had a family of two sons and four daughters. The two sons, Ezekiel and 
Samuel P., are both married and live in Iowa. The eldest daughter, now Mrs. 
Barnes, lives at Lacon, 111.; the second, Mrs. Hugh Thompson, died in the win- 
ter of 1876; the third, Mrs. Susannah Grinnold, resides in Garden Plain, and 
has been a widow for several years; and Margaret, the youngest daughter, be- 
came the wife of Ithamar Johnson, and died some years since. Both Mr. and 
Mrs. Kilgore are dead, the latter dying only a few years ago at the age of 84 
years. Mr. Stephen Sweet, uncle of James A. Sweet and William Minta, came 
in the same year. He died some years ago. Mr. Alpheus Mathews was also 
an early settler, arriving in 1837, and living near where the school-house now 
stands, in the Holland settlement. He is now a wealthy farmer, residing in 
the Lockhart district. After 1840 permanent settlers came in more rapidly, as 
the exceeding richness and fertility of the soil, and the beauty of its location, 
had become somewhat extensively spread. 

The first white child born in the township was Mary Mathews, daughter 
of Alpheus and Abylcne Mathews, her birth occurring on the 20th of August, 
1840. She married Samuel Montgomery, and died in 1872. 

The first parties entering into wedlock were Mr. Samuel Robbins and Miss 
Clarissa Parker, eldest daughter of Abel Parker. The happy event occurred in 

1839, and was duly solemnized by Gilbert Buckingham, Esq., the then well- 
known Justice of the Peace, of Albany. 


The first death occurring in the township was that of Elijah Knowlton. 
He died in March, 1838, and was buried in the grave-yard near Albany, being 
the first person interred there. 

The first dwelling was built by Abel Parker, in Parker's Grove, soon after 
his arrival in 1836. It was of the usual pioneer size, and although room was 
scarce it sufficed even for a large family, until, by perseverance and hard work, 
a more commodious one could be erected. Joseph Bacon put up one of about 
a similar size in the same year, in what is known as the Burch district. The 
erection of frame houses commenced about 1842, although it was some time 
after 1850 before they began to assume anything like the proportions of the 
present spacious residences of the town. 

The early residents of Garden Plain, coming as they did in a great degree 
from the Eastern and Middle States, took an earnest interest in the cause of 
education. Although there was no regular school house in town during the early 
years, yet the few inhabitants clubbed together and secured a little log house 
standing then a little north of David Parker's residence, and had a school opened 
there, with Miss Susannah Boynton as teacher. Seymour Knapp was the sec- 
ond teacher in that house. This was as early as 1843. The first building put 
up as a school house was the cement one now standing at Garden Plain Corners, 
and was erected in 1850. There are six school districts now in the town, with 
seven commodious and well furnished schoolhouses, the Cedar creek district con- 
taining two — one at Cedar creek, and the other at the Holland settlement. In 
the latter school the scholars are children of Holland parents, yet the English 
branches are exclusively taught, the parents desiring their children to obtain as 
far as possible a good English education. Many of these parents are yet unable 
to speak the English language intelligibly. The large building at the Corners 
was built for a graded school, and will be very soon used as such. This school 
house was dedicated February 9, 1869, at the occasion of the meeting of the 
Mississippi Teachers' Association there at that time. 

The first preacher who ministered to the spiritual wants of the inhabitants, 
was Father McKean of the Methodist persuasion, living at Elkhorn Grove, who 
traveled through that section of the county, and held services for the few in- 
habitants wherever an opportunity afforded. These pioneer ministers were men 
of indomitable energy, of fervent piety, and great zeal in their calling, and no 
dangers of either "field or flood" could deter them from fulfilling an appoint- 
ment. In Garden Plain he preached in the little log cabin used for school pur- 
poses. • 

The earliest traveled road through the territory now comprising the town- 
ship was the Rock Island and Galena road, running along the river 
bank, and was used as a stage route. This road was quite extensively 
traveled before any of the present cities and villages along its route 
were even thought of, much less laid out into lots and blocks. For many years 
it was the only overland route from Rock Island to Galena, and competed 
strongly with the river boats in the transportation of passengers. It is now 
known in Whiteside as the Fulton and Albany road. The second road used ran 
from Union Grove to Albany. In 1839 a company was organized to layout and 
construct a road across the Cattail, and subscriptions to the amount of $800 were 
obtained for this purpose. For three-quarters of a mile across the slough rails 
had to be laid side by side, and upon them was placed a thick layer of earth 
taken from the bluffs on either side. As this wore down more earth was drawn 
upon the road, until finally it became quite passable. Mr. C. R. Rood superin- 
tended the construction of that part of the road. Albany was then the large 
town in the county, to which grain and produce were taken for a distance ex- 


tending even to Sterling. Every road whicli could be opened to it was, there- 
fore, a material benefit to botb the town and the farmer. After this road had 
been built the proprietors of the Frink & Walker stages opened a direct line from 
Chicago to Albany, thus connecting, as it may be termed, the lakes and the Mis- 
sissippi river by an air line stage route. The road is now known as the Albany 
and Morrison road, and runs nearly through the center of Garden Plain town- 
ship. This was also the first legally laid out road after the township organization. 

The Postoffice at Garden Plain was first established on the 13th of April, 
1846, and Charles R. Rood appointed Postmaster. Mr. Rood continued to hold 
the position until 1851 when he resigned, and James A. Sweet was appointed in his 
place. The first mail was carried on a north and south route running from Peoria 
to Galena, but in 1850 it was delivered by the Frink & Walker line of stages 
running from Chicago to Albany and Rock Island. When this line gave way to 
the Dixon branch of the Chicago and Galena Railroad, the office was discontin- 
ued. In 1862 it was re-established, and J). H. Knowlton appointed Postmaster, 
who held the office until it was again discontinued in 1864. In the spring of 
1876 it was re-established the second time, and L. P. Hill, the present incum- 
bent, appointed Postmaster. The mail is now delivered by the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Quincy Railroad. 

The Wesleyan Methodists had the first religious organization in the township, 
but it was discontinued a number of jears ago. It is mentioned that this So- 
ciety were favored with preachers of much more than ordinary talent, among 
them being Rev. Mr. Cross, and Rev. Mr. Goodwin. Some local preachers and lay- 
men also officiated when the regular pastors were necessarily absent, and some- 
times astonished their hearers by the doctrines taught. One, for instance, said 
"the doctrine of faith and repentance had become stale, so that it was necessary 
to present other themes for contemplation," and thereupon proceeded to deliver 
a regular old fashioned Anti-Slavery speech. But, notwithstanding this break, 
the gospel was preached in those days in all its purity and power, very little of 
the milk and water kind furnished so frequently now-a-days being dealt out. 
Such men as Phelps, Cross, Sinclair, Judson, Goodwin, Mitchell, Emerson, and 
Cartwright, would not have been at home in the pulpit without the privilege of 
dealing sledge hammer blows at all unrighteousness. The United Brethren had 
a standing in the township also at an early day, but like the Wesleyans have 
ceased to exist as an organization. 

The First Presbyterian Church of Garden Plain was organized November 
5, 1863, and the act of incorporation duly recorded immediately afterwards. At 
that time James A. Sweet, C. S. Knapp and Alexander Wilson, were chosen 
Trustees. This action was had by the counsel of Rev. Josiah Leonard, who 
presented the preamble and resolutions which formed its basis. The Society 
was organized, however, at a much earlier date. The first meeting for consulta- 
tion was held in the school house at Garden Plain Corners, on the first of March, 
1850, and was presided over by Rev. J. J. Hill, Rev. H. L. Ballen acting as 
Scribe. At an adjourned meeting, held March 16, 1850, Francis Parker, James 
Delay, Samuel M. Kilgore and Mrs. E. Zoins, agreed to unite together in the 
organization of a church, to be known as the First Presbyterian Church of Gar- 
den Plain. Articles of faith and a form of church covenant were then adopted, 
and the meeting adjourned to Saturday, March 23, 1850, at which time S. M. 
Kilgore was duly received as an elder, and entered upon his duties. The first 
sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered by Rev. J. J. Hill, March 24, 
1850. From that time to the present it appears that regular services have been 
held, and the ordinances of the church enjoyed, except at short intervals. Rev. 
W. T. Wheeler commenced his labors as stated supply in the fall of 1850, and 


continued regular services until the fall of 1851, when he was removed by 
death. Rev. J. Walker was then engaged for one half of his time, commencing 
December 1, 1851, continuing his labors for about one year, and was succeeded 
by Rev. E. K. Martin, who in turn was succeeded by Rev. W. S. Johnson. After 
Mr. Johnson closed his pastorate, the desk was irregularly supplied until Rev. 
Nathaniel Pine was employed. Mr. Pine commenced his labors in January, 
1856, and continued to preach until the fall of 1857. During this period there 
were several additions to the church, and a good degree of interest manifested 
in the Sabbath School, the meetings of the Society being still held in the school 
house. In February, 1858, Rev. Jo.siah Leonard became pastor, and continued 
with slight interruptions until the fall of 1871. The church was increased in 
numbers, and greatly encouraged and strengthened during Mr. Leonard's pastoral 
charge. In April, 1869, the following entry was made in the record: " The 
past year there have been twenty-four additions, twenty-one of which were by 
profession. The church at the close of the year numbered fifty-six — four have 
left without letters, and two were regularly dismissed. Seventeen adults have 
be^n baptised." At the conclusion of the labors of Mr. Leonard, Rev. 
E. E. Bayliss was invited to become the pastor of the church, and accepting, 
entered upon his duties in October, 1871. He continued as pastor until the 
spring of 1874, when the change of his views on the subject of baptism caused 
his dismissal. After that the pulpit was in the main supplied by Rev. D. E. 
Wells, pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Fulton, until the middle of August, 
1875, when arrangements were made for a union with the Presbyterian and 
Congregational Societies at Albany, for the services of Rev. N. D. Graves, one- 
half of whose time should be devoted to the charge at Garden Plain, and the 
other half at Albany. Mr. Graves is the present pastor. It should also be 
stated that the names of several other clergyman appear upon the record, be- 
sides those already named, as supply for brief periods, and among them honor- 
able mention should be made of Rev. J. Coon, of Albany, and Rev. Mr. Prime — 
the former officiating at different times as supply in the intervals of no regular 
pastoral service, and the latter as supply alternately for a year and a half. The 
records show the following summary: Ten elders have been ordained; whole 
number of members, 124; regularly dismissed. 30; died, 3; expelled, 3; dropped 
from the roll, 3; total number now enrolled, 80. The records also show fifty 
baptisms, about half of which were those of adult persons. Of the present 
number enrolled, several have moved away without taking letters, leaving the 
actual membership not far from seventy. As there is almost a total absence of 
any record of benevolent contributions, and of items incident to the support of 
preaching, it is impossible to approximate even the amounts given. Tbe church 
edifice is located at Garden Plain Corners, and is a neat and commodious struc- 
ture. It was finished in 1870, and dedicated to the worship of God on the first 
Sabbath in October of that year. The whole expense in erecting and furnish- 
ing the building amounted to $3,944,96. In addition to the church edifice the 
Society have erected a beautiful parsonage at an expense, including the lot, of 
$1,750. The parsonage stands a little to the south of the church. Ample 
horse sheds have also been erected, which stand as witnesses of hopeful progress, 
and receive, as they deserve, the commendation of passers by, as well as the 
thanks of the horses that perform so important a service for the comfort of 
those who weekly visit this place of prayer and solemn convocation. The pres- 
ent Trustees are James Burnett, Robert R. Murphy and Andrew Stowell. 

The first M. E. Church society in Garden Plain was organized about 1848, 
Elder Sinclair and Rev. Charles Babcock forming a class of twelve members. 
The Society became connected with the Albany circuit. In 1860 the church 



edifice was built at a cost of about $2,000. It is centrally situated in the south 
part of the town, is a well-finished building, and was the first church structure 
erected in the township. Mr. William Minta, father of the late John Minta, 
was the principal person who secured the erection of the building, and eonti-ib- 
uted liberally toward its construction. It was built on his land. In 1862 the 
Society was transferred to the Fulton circuit, and has remained a part of that 
circuit until the present. Rev. W. H. Smith was then the pastor in charge of 
the Fulton circuit. The present pastor is Rev. J. S. David. A Sabbath-school 
is connected with the church. There is an M. E. Society also in the north part 
of the town, at Cedar creek, which is supplied by the Fulton and Albany 
preachers. Besides the Presbyterian and M. E. Societies, the Dunkards hold 
meetings in Garden Plain. 

The Temperance Reform Club of Garden Plain was organized at Lock- 
hart's school-house, in the north part of the town, April 1, 1875, with Elisha 
Lockhart as President, and William E. Smith, Secretary. The Club started 
with only fifteen members, but the number increased afterwards very rapidly. 
The present officers are : William Snyder, President, and V. B. Stowell, Sec- 
retary. It was here that the zealous and successful Garden Plain Missionaries, 
Elisha Lockhart, John W. Baker, Francis Parker, and Thomas J. Burch, organ- 
ized for their work. These Missionaries started out in the spring of 1875, and 
visited places throughout the entire surrounding country, holding meetings in 
churches, school houses, or wherever they could, carrying the pledge with them, 
earnestly exhorting all to sign, and organizing similar Clubs to the one at Lock- 
hart's. Their manner of work is so devoid of pretension, their addresses so 
pointed, fervent, and convincing, and their zeal so earnest, that they secure the 
signatures of hundreds to the total abstinence pledge, which otherwise could not 
have been obtained. Much of the good done by them becomes immediately ap- 
parent, but much of it, though none the less efi"ective, is not publicly exhibited. 
This latter is the case with the moderate drinkers who as yet do not show the 
efi'ects of liquor because of the small quantities taken, and that only at intervals, 
but who are saved from becoming drunkards by the influence of the Mission- 
aries. Many a man, and many a family, blesses this noble band of men to-day 
for the reformation that has been caused by their labors. Unlike the majority 
of temperance lecturers they give their time and talents gratuitously to the great 
cause in which they are engaged. It is only necessary to point out to them a 
place where they can do good by holding a meeting, and they throw aside busi- 
ness and pleasure alike to attend. Such men are true reformers, and merit the 
encouragement of the good and pure everywhere. A Division of the Sons of 
Temperance was instituted at Lockhart's school house in 1875, by Dr. W. C. 
Snyder, who also installed the first officers. 

The jNIendota branch of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad en- 
ters the town near the southeast corner, on section twenty-five, and ends on sec- 
tion four, near the Mississippi river, where there is a depot to which a regular 
line of omnibuses run from Fulton. There is also a depot at Garden Plain 
Corners. The one at the latter place is a very neat structure. The Western 
Union Railroad enters the town in the northwest part, on section four, and fol- 
lowing the river passes out on section nineteen. The Chicago & Northwestern 
Railroad also runs a short distance through the town, entering on section four, 
and passing down to the bridge across the Mississippi river. This bridge, com- 
monly known as the Clinton bridge, abuts on the territory of the township of 
Garden Plain. The Garden Plain and Clinton ferry starts on the east side of the 
river, on section seventeen of the township. The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railroad when first built through the town^ ran down to Cedar creek where a 


small depot was built. The old ferry, the first one started from Garden Plain 
to Clinton, and known as the Aiken ferry, was then running from that point, 
and upon this ferry the railroad transferred its freight and passengers to and 
from Clinton. It was at this point the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Company 
actually drove some piles in the river, and made other preparations to construct 
a bridge to Clinton, a few years ago. The work did not progress far, however, 
before it was abandoned. Whether the Company fully intended to build the 
bridge, or simply commenced operations to induce the Chicago & Northwestern 
Company to enter into an agreement allowing them to run their cars over the 
present bridge at Clinton, the public were never informed. It was conjectured 
at the time that the latter was the object in commencing the work, as the C., B. 
& Q. Company had made several attempts to cross the bridge, but were at each 
time frustrated by the vigilance of the Chicago & Northwestern people. That 
the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Company desire to cross the Mississippi at or 
near the Narrows, there can be no doubt, and we predict it will be done in the 
near future. 

The first town meeting, after incorporation under the township organization 
laws, was held April 6, 1852. The following is a list of town officers from that 
date to the present : 

Supervisors .-—1852, Samuel M. Kilgore; 1853-'54, J. C. V. Baird; 1855, 
C. S. Knapp; 1856, James A. Sweet; 1857-'61, A. M. George; 1862, C. R. Rood; 

1863, A. M. George; 1864, C. R. Rood; 1865-'66, James A. Sweet; 1867, C. R. 
Rood; 1868, D. B. Arrel; 1869, David Miller; 1870, J. M. Eaton; 1871-75, 
David Miller; 1876-77, J. M. Eaton. 

Town Clerks :—1852-'6i,D. C. Kilgore; 1855-'64, John Grant; 1865-'67, 
Matthew Hanna; 1868, M. Eaton; 1869-74, Alexander Wilson; 1875-77, Hi- 
ram E. Sweet. 

Assessors . -—18^4, James A. Sweet; 1855, J. C. V. Baird; 1856, D. C. 
Kilgore; 1857, C. S. Knapp; 1858, John Grant; 1859, J. C. V. Baird; 1860, D. 

C. Kilgore; 1861, J. C. V. Baird; 1862, D. B. Arrel; 1863, J. C. V. Baird; 1864- 
'65, John S. Kilgore; 1866, D. B. Arrel; 1867, J. C. V. Baird; 1868, W. W. 
Parker; 1869,Ithamar Johnson; 1870, J. J. Higgins; 1871-74, J. C. V. Baird; 
1875-77, P. J. Kennedy. 

Collectors :—18b2~'7 4, C. H. Park; 1875-76, R. R. Murphy; 1877, A. J. 

Justices of the Peace : — 1852, James R. Montgomery, Sr., Henry M. Grin- 
nold; 1856, E. D. Stone, J. C. V. Baird; 1860, J. C. V. Baird, J. H. Adams; 

1864, D. H. Knowlton, A. Matthews; 1868, D. H. Knowlton, A. Matthews; 1872, 

D. H. Knowlton, Alex. Wilson; 1877, D. H. Knowlton. 

On Tuesday afternoon, May 11, 1875, quite a severe tornado swept through 
Garden Plain, destroying considerable property, but fortunately without doing 
any personal injury. The storm came from the southwest, originating as near 
as can be ascertained in that portion of the township, and gathering strength as 
it progressed destroyed trees, fences, and some out-buildings, and killed hogs, 
cattle and poultry, until it reached the barn of Jacob Parker, part of which it 
completely demolished, and unroofed the balance, so that Mr. Parker was obliged 
to build almost entirely anew. Passing on toward the northwest it lifted the 
windmill on John Hudson's farm from its foundation, carried it over the fence 
a few yards, and then let it fall, breaking it into fragments. Mr. Parker and 
Mr. Hudson were also sufferers to a considerable extent in hogs, poultry, fruit 
and shade trees, fences, etc. Keeping its course to the northwest it carried away 
more trees and fences, and cut up various other pranks, until it reached 
Union Grove township, where it did considerable damage. Then, as if satisfied 


with its work, it ceased further destruction. The tornado of June 3, 1860 
•which did such terrible execution at Albany, and in some other parts of the 
county, also passed through a portion of Garden Plain, a full description of which 
is given in chapter lY of this History. 

Garden Plain contains 17,430 acres of improved land, 1,692 of unimproved. 
The Assessor's book for 1877 shows the number of horses in the township to be 
676; number of cattle, 1,956; of mules and asses, 16; of sheep 373; of hogs, 
3,231; carriages and wagons, 227; sewing and knitting machines, 86; watches 
and clocks. 205; piano fortes, 6; melodeons and organs, 25. Total value of lands, 
lots and personal property, $-161,432; value of railroad property, $174,676. 
Total assessed value of all property in 1877, $636,10.8. 

The population of the township in 1870, as shown by the United States 
census reports of that year, was 1091, of which 905 were native born, and 186 
foreign. In 1860 the population was 816. The estimated population in 1877 
is 1,200. 

Charles E.. Rood is a native of Grandville, Washington county. New 
York, and was born July 24, 1813. He came to Whiteside county in October 
1836, and settled first in Albany where he remained three 3-ears. During this 
time he located his present farm on section twenty-two in Garden Plain, then 
a part of Albany Precinct, and in the fall of 1840 went back to the East, re- 
maining until 1844, when he returned with his wife and settled permanently 
in his new home. Mr. Rood was married to Miss Sarah S. Churchill at Mooers, 
Clinton county, New York, on the 27th of October, 1842. Mrs. Rood is a 
native of Champlain, Clinton county. New York, and was. born November 11, 
1815. The following are the names of their children: Myra, born August 12, 
1845; Albert Lawrence, born October 11,1847; Nellie, born November 12, 1848, 
and Julia, born March 11, 1856. Albert Lawrence died January 3d, 1848. 
Nellie married James Nimon, and is living in Leavenworth, Kansas. Myra and 
Julia are residing at home. Probably no man in Whiteside took a more prom- 
inent part in the aflfairs of the county at an early day than Mr. Rood, or was 
more thoroughly acquainted with its people. In 1837 he was appointed Deputy 
County Surveyor by Mr. Crawford, the County Surveyor of Ogle county, White- 
side being then attached to Ogle for county purposes, and in 1838 received 
the appointment of Deputy Sheriff from the Sheriff of Ogle county. Upon 
the complete organization of Whiteside in 1839 he was elected its first County 
Surveyor, the term being for four years, but vacated the office in 1842 during 
his absence at the East. Soon after his return he was appointed Deputy Sur- 
veyor for the county, and holds that position at present. Mr. Rood surveyed 
and laid out the towns of Harrisburg and Chatham (now Sterling), Lyndon, 
Albany, and a part of Fulton, and has surveyed and located most of the lead- 
ing roads in the county. Besides these public surveys, his services have been 
very frequently in demand since he first came to the county, to make private 
surveys of lands, lots, and blocks. As a Surveyor he has no superior in this 
section of the country. His knowledge of the profes.sion, and his accuracy are 
unquestioned. Of township offices he has been Supervisor several terms, also 
Highway Commissioner, School Director and Township School Treasurer. 
When the Postoffice was established at Garden Plain he was the first Post- 
master. He has always been an ardent friend of the Temperance cause, and as 
early as 1837 assisted in forming a Temperance Society in Albany, which was 
probably the first organization of the kind in the county. This Society was 
organized in the spring, and by the following June it numbered over forty mem- 


bers, showing that the leaders were not only zealous, but effective in their 
labors. Mr. Rood is the owner of one of the finest farms in Garden Plain 
township — a town, if we may use the expression, running over with splendid 
farms. The land is rolling, the soil rich and deep, and under his careful man- 
agement produces abundant crops. His talent and success as an agriculturist 
are only equalled by those exhibited and attained in his profession. When the 
Order of the Patrons of Husbandry came into being he took an active part in 
organizing subordinate Granges, and was the first Master of the County Grange. 
He is at present connected with the Farmers' Co-operative Manufacturing 
Company, whose works are at Lyndon. 

James A. Sweet was born at Fayette, Seneca county. New York, March 9, 
1812, and is one of the earliest settlers of Garden Plain, arriving there on the 
20th of September, 1839, and locating at Parker's Grove. He afterwards 
settled at his present place, at Garden Plain Corners. Mr. Sweet was married 
at Lyndon, Whiteside county, February 29, 1845, to Miss Judith Greenhorn, a 
native of Greensborough, Vermont. This estimable lady, so long and so favor- 
ably known in Garden Plain and the surrounding towns, died on the 8th of April. 
1877. Her excellence as a woman, and her devotedness as a christian, had 
endeared her to all, and her death was widely mourned. The children of this 
marriage are as follows: James L., born May 14, 1847; Sarah E., born March 
24, 1849; Margaret, born September 20, 1850; Hiram E., born April 16, 1852; 
Esther, born October 24, 1853; Edward S., born February 3, 1857; Emma, born 
October 5, 1861; Willie, born July 19, 1863, and Ernest, born December 10, 
1866. Of these Esther died January 22, 1864, and Willie, March 20, 1865. 
James L. married Esther Emmons, October 19, 1869, and lives in Garden Plain; 
Sarah E. married Lilburn Slocumb, July 2, 1873, and lives in Kansas; Margaret 
married Freeman Hanna, September 20, 1872, and lives in Garden Plain; 
Hiram E. married Mary George, December 29, 1875, and lives in Garden Plain. 
Edward S., and Emma, reside at home. Mr. Sweet is one of the representative 
men of Whiteside county. Active, clear headed, vigilant, and of undoubted 
integrity, he was early selected by his fellow citizens to fill positions of public 
trust. In 1844 he was elected Sheriff of the county, and held the office two 
years. The duties of this important position were never more faithfully per- 
formed than by Mr. Sweet during his term. For nearly ten years he was 
Postmaster at Garden Plain, and has also been Supervisor and Assessor of the 
town for several terms each. He has always taken a deep interest in educa- 
tion, and has been a member of the School Board formany years. His residence 
is at Garden Plain Corners, and most of his land lies in that immediate vicinity. 

David Parker was born in Wells, Rutland county, Vermont, December 
12, 1811, and came with his father, Abel Parker, to Whiteside county in 1836. 
He was married to Miss Elizabeth Shurtleff, in Garden Plain, the children of 
the marriage being: Charles D., Henry L., Lizzie, and Herbert. Charles D. 
married Miss Amanda Sutherland, at Fulton, January 6, 1876, and lives on the 
old homestead at Garden Plain Corners; Henry L. is dead, and Lizzie and 
Herbert live at Fulton. At the death of Abel Parker, David, being the eldest 
son at home, took charge of the estate. He was always a careful manager, a 
thrifty, hard working man, and during his lifetime accumulated a large property, 
owning at the time of his death four hundred and eighty acres of finely culti- 
vated farm land, and seventy-four of timber. Mr. Parker could not be induced 
to accept ofiice, preferring to attend strictly to his private business. He died 
February 10, 1875. 

Isaac Crosby is a native of Shrewsbury, Worcester county, Massachusetts, 
and was born March 11, 1805. He came to Garden Plain, then Albany Pre- 


cinct, Whiteside county, in May, 1838, and settled first on the farm now owned 
by Mrs. S. M. Kilgore. Here he remained until 1844, when he purchased his 
present farm, situated on section 14, on the Albany and Morrison road, a little 
east of Garden Plain Corners. When he purchased the land it was all wild 
prairie, and the hard work of breaking it was done by himself. He has now 
one of the most beautiful farms in the township, and upon it one of the largest 
and most thrifty orchards. Mr. Crosby was married to Miss Lury B. Knowl- 
ton, at the town of Grafton, Worcester county, Massachusetts, December 2, 
1830, the Rev. Otis Converse, a Baptist clergyman, tying the nuptial knot. 
Mrs. Crosby is also a native of Shrewsbury, Worcester county, Massachusetts, 
and was born January 31, 1810. There are no children to bless this union, as 
there ought to have been, for a more amiable couple do not reside in Whiteside 
county. Mr. Crosby has followed farming since his residence in this county, 
and has held no office, always saying, when he was solicited to accept one by 
his fellow-citizens, that he would rather pay a fine than be troubled with tte 
duties of a public position. It is needless to say that he has never been troubled 
in that respect, nor been called upon to pay a fine, as office-seekers and office- 
holders are not rare birds in any community. He states that in going from 
Albany to his first place on the Kilgore farm, he hitched a yoke of oxen to a 
tree and had it dragged there, so as to make a trail by which he could return with- 
out getting lost. For three weeks, during the year 1839, he did not see a living 
person, except his wife, and was on his bed sick at that. Mr. Crosby is one of 
the hale, genial pioneers of Whiteside county. 

John W. Baker is a native of Queen Anne's county, Maryland, and was 
born on the 26th of April, 1812. He came to Fulton in December, 1836, being 
attracted thither by the glowing accounts of the wonderful Mississippi Valley, 
sent to him by his uncle, John Baker, the first settler in Fulton and in "VMiite- 
side county. These accounts were so seductive that he bid good-bye to " My 
Maryland," and, with his wife, three sisters, and a niece, undertook the labori- 
ous journey to the then far West. Arriving in the winter and finding only a 
small cabin on the Cattail creek in which to place his family and household 
goods, he made up his mind that " Uncle John " had drawn considerably upon 
his imagination when he wrote about the beauty and delights of the great Mis- 
sissippi Valley. Added to his other troubles was the death of his niece during 
the winter, an account of which is given in the history of Fulton township. 
But with the advent of spring things began to look more cheerful, and it was 
not long before he, too, began to chant the praises of the beautiful valley. 
Mr. Baker was married to Miss Mary H. Wright, in Queen Anne's county, Ma- 
ryland, on the 24th of December, 1833. Their children have been as follows : 
Annie, died in 1836, in Maryland; John T., died in Fulton, in 1843; Albert J., 
married, and lives at Denver, Colorado; John W., Jr., living in Oregon; Ellen, 
married, and living in Marshall county, Iowa; Thomas, living in California; 
William H., living in Utah; Edward M., Ramsay M., Mary, and Lizzie E., all 
living in Garden Plain. Mr. Baker remained in Fulton until 1843, when he 
purchased his present farm in section 11, in Garden Plain township, where he 
has since resided. He also owns land in sections 3 and 10 in the same town- 
ship. During his residence in Fulton he was one of the Constables of the Pre- 
cinct, and in Garden Plain township he has held different offices. He was 
elected School Director in 1845, with David Parker and David Mitchell, the three 
being the first School Directors of Garden Plain. Mr. Baker is one of the 
famous Garden Plain missionaries, and is one of the most zealous and effective 
temperance workers in the country. 

William Ml\ta was a native of England, and came to Garden Plain in 


1839, and settled on section 33. He had a large family of children, thirteen in 
all, but all are dead except two sons, Dixon and Wesley, and one daughter, 
Julia, who are in California. Mr. and Mrs. Minta both died of consumption, as 
did the ten children. Those now living are afflicted with the same fell disease. 
When the Methodist Episcopal Church was erected in Garden Plain, Mr. Minta 
generously donated the land upon which it is built, besides donating freely 
toward its construction. He was a fervent Christian, and a man of irre- 
proachable reputation. 

Alpheus Mathews is a native of the town of Hector, Tompkins county, 
New York, and was born January 12, 1812. He lived at his old home until 
September 12, 1837, when he started for the West, and arrived in Whiteside 
county in October qf that year. In the spring of 1838 he commenced improv- 
ing a small farm in uarden Plain, which he sold in 1844 to Joseph Snyder, and 
purchased his present farm on sections 2 and 11. On the 10th of November, 
1839, Mr. Mathews married Miss Abyleen Bethea, in Lee county, Illinois. Their 
children were: Mary, born August 20, 1840; William, born March 3, 1842; 
Carrie, born May 27, 1843, and one who died in infancy. 3Irs. Mathews died 
in October, 1844. Mary married Samuel Montgomery, and died in May, 1872. 
Carrie married Daniel Greorge, and died in March, 1877, in Kansas. In 1846 
Mr. Mathews married his second wife. Mrs. Louise Patrick. Mr. Mathews was 
Justice of the Peace of Garden Plain township from 1864 to 1872. 

David Mitchell was born in Sciota county, Ohio, October 7, 1804, and 
moved from his native place to Putnam county, Illinois, in September, 1835, 
settling on what is called Round Prairie, six miles east of the town of Lacon, 
on the Illinois river. In 1838 he came to Albany, being one of the earliest set- 
tlers of that place, where he remained until he purchased his farm in Garden 
Plain. Mr. Mitchell married his first wife, Miss Harriet Murphy, in Sciota 
county, Ohio, May 31, 1827. The children by this marriage were: Thurmuthie 
Amanda, born May 6, 1828; Mary Jane, born December 12, 1829; William Lu- 
ther, born September 23, 1831; Abraham David, born January 10. 1834. and 
John Calvin, born February 12, 1836. Mrs. Mitchell died December 21, 1837. 
On the 25th of September, 1838, Mr. Mitchell married Miss Isabella Work, his 
second wife, the children by this marriage being: Margaret Elizabeth, born Oc- 
tober 19, 1842, and Martha, October 21, 1844. Of the children by the first 
marriage, Mary Jane died November 14, 1863, aged thirty-four years. Thur- 
muthie Amanda married John Hudson, at Lacon, Marshall county, Illinois, De- 
cember 12, 1848, and resides in Fulton; Mary Jane married Daniel F. George, 
at Garden Plain, in September, 1851, and died as above mentioned. The hus- 
band and children are living in Garden Plain. William Luther married Miss 
Margaret E. Blean, Deceniber 13, 1859, and resides in Newton. Abraham D. 
married Miss Mary Murphy, at Garden Plain, December 11, 1867 and resides in 
Fulton. John C. married Miss Carrie Van Etten. of Sidney, Iowa, August 22, 
1864, and resides in Fulton. Of the children by the second marriage, Margaret 
Elizabeth died August 19, 1845. Martha married Dr. Alex. Cozad, December 
11, 1867, and resides at Andulasia, Rock Island county, Illinois. Mr. Mitchell 
died December 27, 1850, and his widow in January, 1864. During his lifetime, 
Mr. Mitchell took a very prominent part in the affairs of the county, being the 
first County Treasurer, serving from 1839 to 1841, and was afterwards for a 
number of years a member of the County Commissioners' Court. In both of 
these positions he displayed an ability of a high order, and in the latter, 
especially, aided very much by his clear judgment and keen foresight in placing 
Whiteside county in a condition to ensure the future growth and prosperity 
which it has attained. Such men are needed at the helm at the incipient stages 


of a municipality, county or commonwealtli, to steer clear of the breakers into 
which reckless or misguided hands are sure to run the governmental craft. Mr. 
Mitchell was also engaged in connection with his brother Samuel, for quite a 
period, in conducting the ferry between Albany and Camanche. His farm in 
Garden Plain was situated on section 9, on the Fulton and Albany road, and is 
now owned by his son, Aid. A. D. Mitchell, of Fulton. His death, occuring as 
it did when he was in the prime of life, was widely mourned. 

Jacob Parker, Truman Parker and Francis Parker, all sons of Abel 
Parker, the first settler of Garden Plain, still reside in the township, and rank 
among its most substantial farmers and citizens. P. B. Vannest, who settled 
in Albany at an early day, has resided in this township for a good many years. 
Capt. a. M. George, Joseph Snyder, Ithamar Johnson, Dr. E. D. Stone, 
Richard Storer, Elisha Lockhart, Samuel Montgom^y and David Mil- 
ler, are among the prominent citizens of the township. 


HisToiiY OF Genesee Township — Biographical — Coleta. 

History op Genesee Township. 

The township of Genesee comprises Congressional township No. 22 north, 
range 6 east of the 4th principal meridian. Previous to Whiteside county com- 
pleting its full organization, Genesee formed first a part of Crow Creek Precinct, 
then of Elkhorn Precinct, and afterwai-ds was laid ofi" as a Precinct by itself, 
and called Genesee Grove Precinct, and in 1852 was made a township by the 
Commissioners appointed by the County Commissioners' Court to divide the 
county into townships, and give each its name and boundaries, under the town- 
ship organization law. The township is divided into timber and prairie land. 
A grove in the northwest part, called Genesee Grove, is about six miles long 
and three miles broad. The balance is a beautiful, rich, rolling prairie. It is 
watered by Spring creek, which has its rise on the lands of W. Wetzell, on sec- 
tion 10, and also by branches of Rock creek on the west, and a branch of Otter 
creek on the north. The government survey of the township was made in 1842, 
by Mr. Sanderson, and now, in 1877, it is all in cultivated fields and pasture land. 
The lands were brought into market and sold at public auction by the Govern- 
ment, at Dixon, in 1843. 

Among the early settlers of Genesee, Jesse Hill, Sr., Adam James and 
John James, came in 1835; John Wick, William Wick, Eli Redman, Mark Har- 
rison, Joseph Mush and Samuel Landis, in 1836; Ivory Colcord, Pleasant Stan- 
ley, Isaac Brookfield, James McMullen and Jacob HuflFman, in 1837; Levi Mar- 
ble, Edward Richardson, Mr. Carr, Harvey Summers, John Thompson Crum, 
Martin P. McCrea, William Crum and Henry H. Holbrook, in 1838; James Sco- 
ville, R. Tilton Hughes, Ezra R. Huett, Rensselaer Baker, Israel Reed, Marvin 
Chappell and Watson Parish, in 1839. 

The first school taught in what is now the township of Genesee, was in the 
house of William Wick, and the sessions held during the evening, Ivory Col- 
cord being the teacher. This was in the winter of 1837-'38. Some of the 
young men of that time commenced there to learn their alphabet, and after- 
wards obtained sufficient education to enable them to conduct business. Fol- 
lowing this was a school taught by Dinsmoor Barnett, near the residence of iMr. 
Wick. It is related that at this school, just before one Christmas, the scholars, 
following the usage of primeval days, barricaded the door and kept the 
teacher outside until he agreed to treat them with apples and pies. 
After the compact had been entered into, the door was opened and the 
teacher came in and resumed his authority, when the school work went on as 
though there had been no interruption. At the appointed time the apples and 
pies were forthcoming as per stipulation. Another instance of the same kind 
occurred at a school near the Gi'ove. Here the doors and windows were barred, 
and the teacher denied admittance unless he would promise to furnish cake and 
pies for a Christmas treat. Unlike the other teacher, he protested against the 
extravagance of the demand, contending that he was unable to purchase the 
pastry for the reason that his pay was only ten dollars per month. He finally 



eflFected a compromise, however, by agreeing to supply whisky and sugar. The 
result was that some of the pupils became intoxicated, and had to be taken 
home to their mothers in a lumber wagon drawn by oxen. A school was also 
taught about this time by Nelson Fletcher, near Prospect Grove. Mr. Fletcher 
afterwards resided in Carroll county, and for a portion of the time was County 
Superintendent of Schools of that county. Log school houses were built in the 
township as soon as four or five families settled near each other. In those early 
days the school house was used for holding religious services, and was free to 
all denominations alike. The first school house was erected in 1837, near the 
creek north of William Wick's residence, and within a few rods of Walter 
Doud's. Soon after another was built on the north side of the grove, near the 
Hill residence. Genesee now boasts of her fine, commodious structures for 
school purposes. 

The first church society organized in the town was that of the Methodists. 
This was about 1838. The next was by the Christians, in 1839, and consisted 
of twelve members. The first church edifice was erected by the United 

During the winter of 1835-'36, grists had to be taken to Morgan county, 
one hundred and fifty miles south, to be ground, and all the other necessaries of 
life had to be brought from that place. There were no bridges, and but few fer- 
ries across the streams, so that the crossings had to be mainly made by swim- 
ming or wading. Early settlers were, therefore, obliged to live frugally. Pork 
was worth only from 75 'cents to $1.50 per hundred; corn 8 to 15 cents per 
bushel, and wheat 30 cents per bushel. Boots, shoes and clothing had to be 
bought on long time, and paid for out of the products of the farm, and when 
the prices were low, or the crops failed, the constable's fees would often be added 
to the debt. Sometimes the store bills had to be closed up by giving promis- 
sory notes at a high rate of interest. 

All the north half of the timber and the adjoining prairie of Genesee 
Grove, were in early times claimed by the Hill family, and the south half by the 
James brothers, and their assignee, William Wick, hence every settler who 
came to the grove was compelled to purchase timber and prairie claims from one 
or the other of these land jobbers. Some plucky settlers, however, refused to 
buy claims. This being a violation of the claim laws, messengers, young men 
mostly, were dispatched on swift horses to convene the members of the Claim 
Association, and in great emergencies the members of other Associations. Upon 
coming together the members would proceed to hear the proofs and allegations 
on both sides, and then decide the matter by a vote. If the decision was in 
favor of the "jumper," he was secure in his title, but if adverse a semi-military 
organization, properly ofiicered, would be eflFected, whose duty it was to proceed 
at once to the cabin of the trespasser, and remove his goods and family there- 
from, and then either tear the building down or burn it. In all these contests 
about claims the alleged trespasser always had friends, and sometimes they would 
constitute the majority of the meeting. In such an event victory would perch 
upon his banner. As an instance of how the matter worked at times, we give the 
following which occurred in Genesee : Three brothers went to the land office at 
Dixon, and entered claims upon which fourof the actual settlers had builtcabinsand 
made improvements. As soon as this was ascertained a meetingof the members of 
all the adjoining Claim Associations was called, the number present being vari- 
ously estimated at from two to three hundred. The first thing decided upon at 
the meeting was, to turn out with axes and wagons and cut and haul the timber 
from the lands of these brothers to the land belonging to other parties. This 
was done, but the "jumpers " did not budge. A subsequent meeting was then 


held, and the brothers arrested. This time a demand was made of them to con- 
vey the lands to the first claimants, but plucky still, they refused to comply. 
The question then arose as to the kind of punishment which should be inflicted 
upon them, three modes beinjr discussed, to wit : drowning;, shootins; or 
whipping. After mature deliberation the whipping method was adopted, and two 
members of the Association were selected to carry the verdict into execution. 
The decree was that two of the brothers should be punished, the third one be- 
ing let off as an innocent party. The number of blows was not to exceed thirty- 
nine, and an umpire selected to decide as to the number each of the parties could 
endure. Two stakes were driven into the ground, and the brothers tied to them. 
The first one whipped exhibited pluck, and did not flinch, although he received 
nearly all the blows before the umpire interfered, and prevented further pun- 
ishment. The second one received only a few blows when he was taken with 
palpitation of the heart, and they were stopped. All the parties have long since 
left this county. To prevent these claim disputes and their attendant conse- 
quences, the Legislature of the State, at the session of 1837-'38, passed an act 
limiting claims to one hundred and sixty acres of timber, and three hundred and 
twenty acres of prairie, but order was not finally restored until the lands had 
been purchased at the Grovernment land sales. 

The Winnebago Indians remained to hunt and fish in and around Genesee 
until 1839, and were generally quiet and peaceful, although they would 
occasionally steal horses and provisions. During that year, a party of them 
borrowed some of the equines without consent, and were followed and ovei-taken 
by the settlers. They were so indignant at this proceedure that they threat- 
ened to scalp every white person in the settlement before morning. The alarm 
was soon carried to every family on the north side of the grove with the word 
to hasten to the house of William Hill, where a general headquarters would be 
made, and after all had assembled there, the men barricaded the doors and 
windows inside and outside. After finishing the work outside, they entered 
the house through the gable window by means of a ladder, and upon being 
safely entrenched, drew the ladder up after them. Their weapons of warfare 
included everything from a rifle to a pitchfork. One man, a Methodist minis- 
ter, was armed with a table fork, having heard that there was a tradition among 
the Indians that a stab from such an instrument always proved fatal to them. 
During the night one of the settlers in the neighborhood came home from the 
mill, and, finding his cabin deserted, went to the residence of Mr. Hill, but was 
unable to arouse the inmates. After laboring a long time he finally tore down 
the barricades, entered the dwelling, and found the garrison asleep on their 
arms. In the morning it was found that the Indians had all decamped during 
the night, but their trail was followed by some of the more adventurous settlers, 
and they were overtaken on an island in the Mississippi river, near Fulton, and 
the stolen horses secured. When this had been effected they were promptly 
punished by receiving a sound whipping. 

In early times the prairie rattle snakes were plenty, and always expressed 
a willingness to bite by rattling. On one occasion, when some of the pioneers 
of the township were reaping wheat on the land of one of their number as was 
the custom then, one of these "sarpints" was discovered, and sounding the 
tocsin of war, threw itself into a coil ready for a strike. The reapers fell back 
in good order, and suggested various modes of attack, but before a determin- 
ation was reached, Mr. Parish came to the rescue and cried out in a stentorian 
voice "Boys, stand back, and I will show you how we kill snakes in Tennessee." 
The order being promptly obeyed, he approached the enemy and when within 
three feet of the snake sprang into the air with the intention of landing on it 


with his feet close together, thereby crushing it, but he made his calcuhxtions 
wrong and came down on the opposite side. In his attempt to save himself 
he fell flat on his back across the snake, very much scared, as was also the 
snake. The unengaged parties came to his aid, and separated the belligerents 
without either having received any injury. The snake was finally killed with a 

The first Postmaster in what is now Genesee township was Edward Rich- 
ardson, who received his appointment in 1839. Shortly afterwards a postoffice 
was established at Prospect Grove, and called Prospect Postoffice, James Hank- 
ie, an Englishman, receiving the first appointment as Postmaster, who was suc- 
ceeded by^Ira Scoville. This office has long since been abolished. The post- 
office at New Genesee was established a number of years ago, William Taylor 
being the present Postmaster. 

The first birth in the township was that of a daughter of William Wick, 
which occurred in 1836. She was named Louisa Wick. 

The first prize obtained by the grim destroyer was the life of Mrs. James, 
mother of George 0. James, now of Mt. Pleasant township. Mrs. James died 
in 1838. The rider of the white horse commenced holding his fairs early in 
Whiteside county, and tied the ribbon on the door of many a cabin. The doomed 
ones were rudely, but sacredly, buried in the grove or on the prairie, and the 
summer winds sang as soft a requiem over their lowly graves as it would have 
done had the elegant tomb-stones and imposing monuments of to-day marked 
their last resting-place. 

Unhappily we have been unable to ascertain the name of the lady who first 
shuffled off the coil of single -blessedness and entered into the blissful state of 
matrimony. The first marriage in a new settlement is always blissful, and for 
miles and miles around the happy couple are congratulated. In more senses 
than one it is an era for the neighborhood. The name of the fortunate groom, 
however, is preserved, and it is written George Huffman. The hope at the 
wedding undoubtedly was that many little Huffmans would grace the theater of 
action, and that if of the male persuasion they would have more of the man 
than the kuf. Among the first marriage licenses issued after the organization 
of the county in 1839, one was granted to Harvey Preston, of Grant county, 
Wisconsin Territory, and Jane Hall, of Genesee Grove Precinct, who were mar- 
ried at that time. 

The first town meeting, under the township organization law, was held on 
the Gth of April, 1852, when the following officers were elected : Ivory Col- 
cord, Supervisor; Abram H. Law, Town Clerk; John S. Crum, Collector; Will- 
iam Criim, Assessor; John W. Lowery and James 1). Law, Justices of the 
Peace. The following have been the Supervisors, Town Clerks, Assessors, Col- 
lectors, and Justices of the Peace from 1852 to 1877, inclusive : 

tiupervisors : — 1852-'53, Ivory Colcord; 1854-'55, Andrew S.Ferguson; 
1856-'57, Charles Lineroad; 1858-'59, C. W. Sherwood; 1860-63, Andrew S. 
Ferguson; 1864-'66, Ephraim Brookfield; 1867, David Anthony; 1868-70, 
Andrew S. Ferguson; 1871-72, Wm. H. Colcord; 1873-74, Cephas Hurless; 
1875-77, Ira Scoville. 

Toion 67fTA-.s.-— 1852, Abram H. Law; 1853, John Yager; 1854, Abram 
H. Law; 1855-58, William Crum; 1859, K B. Colcord; 1860-'62, William 
Crum; 1863, David Anthony; 1864, K. B. Colcord; 1865-'66, David Anthony; 
1867-70, William H. Colcord; 1871-73, A. S. Ferguson; 1874, S. S. Cobb; 
1875-77, A. S. Ferguson. 

Assessors :~\9>b2, William Crum; 1853, R. B. Colcord; 1854-'56, J. M. 
Griswold; 1857, James Rodman; 1858, John Clark; 1859, Cephas Hurless; 


18G0, E. S. Colcord; 18G1, John Yager; 1SG2, J. D. Lincroad; 1803, John 
Tumblcson; 18G4, O. C. Sheldon; 18G5, J. D. Lineroad; 18G6, P. Ilurless- 
1867, Ira Scoville; 18G8- 70, John Tunibleson; 1871, Cephas Hurless; 1872-73, 
John Tuiubleson; 1874, Wni. H. Colcord; 1875, John Tunibleson; 1876, Wm. 
H. Colcord; 1877, John Tunibleson. 

Collectors :—^%^-2, William Crum; 1853-'55, Darius Gould; 1856, Charles 
W. Smith; 1857, Darius Gould; 1858, J. T. Crum; 1859, Darius Gould; 18G0, 
Pleasant Stanley; 18G1, H. C. Parish; 18G2, A. R. Ilurless; 1863, J. N. 
Springer; 1864, Isaac Lineroad; 1865, C. Overholser; 1866, J. D. Lineroad- 
1867, William N. Haney; 1868, B. F. St. John; 1869, H. C. Ulmer; 187o', 
James W. Eraser; 1871, E. J. Ferguson; 1872, Ephraim Brookfield; 1873, D. 
C. Overholser; 1874, D. G. Proctor; 1875, Alfred Barnes; 1876-77, Abram 

Justices of the Peace : — 1852, John W. Lowery, James D. Law; 1855, 
Thomas J. Stanley; 1856, Charles Sherwood, Abram H. Law; 1860, Abram H. 
Law, Ephraim Brookfield; 1864, William Taylor, Ephraim Brookfield; 1866, S. 
H. Kingery; 1868, C. Overholser, William Taylor; 1873, Cephas Hurless, W. 
M. Law; 1877, R. T. St. John, Cephas Hurless. 

Genesee township contains 18,683 acres of improved land, and 4,267 of un- 
improved. The Assessor's book shows that the number of horses in the town 
in 1877 was 525; the number of cattle, 970; mules and asses, 10; sheep, 11; 
hogs, 3,364; carriages and wagons, 234; sewing and knitting machines, 129; 
watches and clocks, 253; melodeons and organs, 37. Total assessed value of 
lands, lots and personal property, $396,330. 

The population of the township in 1870, as appears by the United States 
census reports of that year, was 1,271, of which 1,081 were of native birth, and 
190 of foreign birth. The population in 1860 was 1,157. The estimated pop- 
ulation in 1877, is 1,500. 

Jesse Hill, Sr., and family, originally came from North Carolina, and set- 
tled on the north side of Genesee Grove in the summer of 1835. Previous to 
his coming he had lived a number of years in Indiana, but at the death of his 
wife, desiring to have all his children settle about him, he sought a home in 
the far West. When they came to the grove they could not cross Rock creek, 
as the water was very high, so they stopped until the water had fallen. In the 
meantime they reconnoitered the timber and the adjacent prairie, and concluded 
that there was enough to supply the " Hill family," so they built themselves a 
cabin. One day a party of Indians came to the cabin and told them that there 
was a "smoky woman," meaning a white woman, on the south side of the grove. 
A messenger was immediately dispatched, and he found the James family. A 
treaty, offensive and defensive, was at one entered into, by the families stipu- 
lating that the James family should own the south half of the grove, and the 
contiguous prairie, while the Hill family should occupy the north half, and the 
adjoining prairie. They were to repel all who intended to '-jump claims," and 
all new settlers were compelled to purchase a timber and prairie lot from one of 
the families, or their assignees, for the first few years. The Hill family con- 
sisted of Jesse Hill, Sr., and nine children, viz: John, Daniel, William, Zach., 
Jesse, Jr., and four girls. One of the girls married Nathaniel IMoxley, one, 
Samuel Seer, one, James Walker, and one, Ebenezer Huftnian, now in Oregon, as 
far as their whereabouts can be learned. Jesse Hill, Sr., died a number of years 
ago at the Grove. John had six children; two are dead, one lives in Nebraska, 
one in Michigan, one in Iowa, one in Wisconsin, and one, Jesse, in Illinois. 


John Hill died in Hardin county, Iowa, in 1852; his wife died in Wisconsin, in 
1859. Jesse. HfU, Jr., lives in Oregon; Daniel in Kansas; William went to 
Texas before the war and has not been heard from since. Zach. died at the 
Grove in 1854, after his return from California. His wife and four children 
are now in Oregon. Not having any teams, in the winter of 1835-"36, they went 
to work and cleared up a field in the timber. The boys split the rails, and the 
girls carried them on their shoulders to the place where the fence was to be 
built. Shoes, boots, broadcloths, silks, worsted goods and calicoes were not in 
the market, and if they had been there was no money to purchase them. So 
they had to be contented with buckskin moccasins as substitutes for boots and 
shoes. The women made linsey from the wool of the sheep, and dyed it with 
bark. The fabric was called butternut. The girls also made a coarse fabric 
from cotton by spinning and weaving. This was worn in the summer, the lin- 
sey in the winter. The dresses were cut, fitted and made at home, the" fashions 
being entirely ignored. An incident is related of a gentleman going to the Hill 
cabin one day about noon, and finding the father, three sons, and three daugh- 
ters at their dinner, which consisted of potatoes boiled with the skins on. There 
being no chairs nor any table in the cabin, the potatoes were turned out on the 
puncheon floor, and the family were seated, tailor fashion, eating their frugal 
meal. As soon as they saw company, the girls ran and hid, but when the sur- 
prise wore off they returned and finished their meal. 

Riley Hill was a Methodist preacher, who remained in Genesee Grove two 
years, 1838-'39, and then went to Warren county; after a time he returned, 
but soon died. 

Lester Hill lived in Genesee Grove about twenty-five years. He moved 
to Minnesota, where he still resides. 

James Family: — Adam and John James came to Genesee Grove in 1835, 
and settled on the south side of the Grove. The mother of the James brothers 
died in 1838; this was the first death in the Grove. Several Indians — Winne- 
bagoes — came to the James cabin one day while the men were from home. Be- 
ing unaccustomed to Indians, the two women fled, leaving them in peaceable pos- 
session of the premises, and went across the country to Union Grove, which 
was then the nearest settlement. Night overtaking them, they slept in the 
high grass. One of the women had an infant, and carried it in her arms all the 
way. Neither mother nor child suffered any injury from the journey or the ex- 
posure of lying on the ground during the night. They reached Union Grove 
the next day, very much pleased with the success of the adventure, and fully 
determined not to be surprised again by the Indians. There was, however, no 
mischief done during their absence. Adam James sold his claim to Wm. Wick 
and others, and returned to Morgan county, Illinois. 

John Wick was born January 26, 1793, in Fayette county, Kentucky; at 
the age of five his family emigrated to Ross county, Ohio, where he spent his 
boyhood. He married Elizabeth King, of Loudon county, Virginia, on the 14th 
of iVpril, 1814. Children : Margaret was born January 14, 1815; Eunice, 
March 8, 1816; Azariah and Absalom— twins— April 16, 1818; John K., July 
28, 1820, and Moses, September 8, 1822. Mrs. Wick died February 1823. John 
K. and Moses are living, one in Genesee Grove the other in California; Mar- 
garet, the wife of Harmon Hopkins, is living in Iowa. Eunice the wife of 

Howard, also lives in Iowa. Mr. Wick had been a farmer all his life. He came 
from Ohio directly to Illinois, and settled in Genesee Grove in October, 1836. 
He was a soldier in the war of 1812; he was drafted, and immediately mustered 
into the service, and rendezvoused at Columbus, Ohio. His regiment was at once 
ordered to upper Sandusky, to re-enforce General Scott, who was threatened with 


an attack by the British army. They reached headquarters just the night before 
the battle — ^near enough to hear the cannon, but not to engage in the encoun- 
ter. General Scott won the battle, and Mr. Wick's regiment was detailed to 
guard the prisoners. 

William Wick was born in Fayette county, Kentucky. lie was about two 
years younger than his brother John and also went with the family to Koss 
county, Ohio. He married Margaret Redman, a sister of Eli Redman, in Ohio. 
He came to Illinois and settled in Genesee Grove in June, 1836. Children : 
Nancy, Emeline, Charlotte, Louisa, an infant that died, Eli, and William. Eli 
lives in Missouri and William in Iowa; Nancy married Wm. P. Iliddleson, and 
now lives in Kansas; Emeline married William Crum, and died in about a year; 
Louisa married John Moxley, and now lives in Missouri; Charlotte married Har- 
vey Summers, and also lives in Missouri. Mr. Wick died in 1858, and is buried 
in Genesee Grove. He was drafted during the war of 1812, and served in the 
same regiment as his brother John. He was an honest, unsuspecting man, and 
often became the victim of designing persons; he was a member of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church. The pioneer ministers of that, and all denominations as 
well, and indeed everybody found a cordial welcome at his house. No member 
of his family now resides in this county. Mrs. Wick is still living, at a ripe old 
age, with her daughter, Mrs. Moxley. 

Eli Redman was born December 22, 1794, in Greenbrier county, Va. 
When young his family removed to Ohio, from thence to Tazewell county, Illi- 
nois, in 1827. He enlisted as a private in the war of 1812, in a Virginia regi- 
ment. He was afterwards Second Lieutenant in a company of Illinois Militia. 
He came to Whiteside county with William Wick. He married Catherine Owen, 
September 29, 1833, in Indiana. Children : W. H., born March 5, 1840; Phebe 
J., January 5, 1842; Sarah E., born February 17, 1844; Nelson L., born No- 
vember 16. 1847; Eli M., born November 22, 1849; Margaret L., born May, 
1854; Samuel C, born March 13, 1856, and Frank 0., August 10, 1861. Mr. 
Redman died October 29, 1862, and is buried in the Genesee Grove cemetery. 
Sarah E., died February 21, 1874. Wm. H. enlisted in Company C, 12th Hlin- 
ois Volunteer Cavalry; he served from January 1, 1862 to June 18, 1866. 
For meritorious services, he was promoted Captain of his company; he was cap- 
tured once, and escaped from the enemy in Virginia; was in every battle in 
which his regiment took part. He is now living at Montezuma, Poweshiek 
county, Iowa. After farming two years, he studied law at the University at 
Iowa City; since then he has been practicing his profession successfully at 
Montezuma, Iowa. Nelson L. and Eli M. are farmers; Phebe J. married Ed- 
ward F. Scoville. The famil;y now reside in Poweshiek county, Iowa. Sarah 
E. was married and resided at the same place until her death. Eli Redman was 
familiarly known in Whiteside and Carroll counties, from the very earliest set- 
tlement of the county up to the time of his death, as " Uncle Eli Redman." 
He was liberal to a fault, as every one would testify. No man ever asked a fa- 
vor of him in vain. Mrs. Eli Redman is now living with her children in Iowa. 

James Scoville was born February 21, 1810, in Washington county. New 
York. He traveled on foot from home to Erie, Pennsylvania, then again on 
foot across Michigan to Chicago, and then to Milwaukee in November, 1834. 
At that time there were no bridges, and he was compelled to wade or swim all 
the streams. He had left his family in New York while he was seeking work. 
He was employed by Junot & Rogers, at Milwaukee, in the lumber business, at 
$25 per month. When he was through with his work at this place, he walked 
all the way back to New York. Mr. Scovile was married November 15, 1832. 
Children: Ira, born May 24, 1834; Mattie, born March 12, 1836; Amelia, born 


March 12, 1838; Mary E., born December 17, 1841; Sarah, born November 29, 
1843; Paulina, born January 20, 1845; James, born March 30, 1848; Ettie, 
born April 12, 1850; Emma, born January 17, 1852, and Ella, born December 
12, 1855. Mr. Scoville made no claim on Government lands, but bought a tim- 
ber lot from Wm. Wick, built a cabin on a prairie lot in October, 1839, and 
moved his family into it in November. He also held the claim of the grove 
northeast of Genesee, which was then called Sight Grove, afterwards Prospect 
Grove. When he settled in Genesee Grove his entire worldly possessions con- 
sisted of a span of horses and a wagon. The provisions for his family and the 
feed for his horses had to be brought from Warren county, one hundred miles 
.south, for the first year's supply. In the second year the products of the farm 
were sufiicient. His first house was a log cabin 18 by 20 feet, all in one room, 
and was used as a kitchen, dining room, parlor, sleeping room, granary, harness 
room and wood house. In addition to all this, his cabin was the stopping place 
for all strangers who passed that way. Mr. Scoville and his Avife are now far 
down the sunset side of life, and have secured not only the necessaries, but also 
many of the luxuries of life. They are among the solid people of Whiteside 

Edward Scoville the father of James, came to Genesee Grove in 1843. 
His wife's maiden name was Susan Case. Children: Paulina, Augustine, Hiram, 
Sanford, James, Stephen, Susan, Edward, Alexander, Sprague, and Jane. All 
the sons are dead except James and Alexander. The daughters are all living. 
The father and mother both died in Illinois, Sanford Scoville settled in 
Genesee Grove in 1844, and died in 1874, from injuries received by being 
thrown from a wagon. He left a wife and one child; his daughter married 
Alexander Calkins. Steven Scoville died about twenty years ago, leaving a wife 
and six children. Alexander Scoville is now living at Rock Falls. Sprague 
Scoville died about thirty years ago at Genesee Grove; he was not married. 

Ivory Colcord was born July 20, 1799, in New Hampshire, in which State 
his wife was also born, June 27, 1805. They came to Genesee Grove on the 
13th of October, 1837. On his route to the West Mr. Colcord shipped his 
family and goods at Olean Point, New York, on a flat boat, and went down the 
Alleghany river to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he took a steamer descend- 
ing the Ohio river, and thence up the Mississippi river to Fulton. At Fulton 
he loaded his goods in a wagon, John Baker, Fulton's pioneer, furnishing the 
team and acting as driver and apide. The family also took passage in the same 
wagon, and the convoy crossedM.he sloughs and prairie to Genesee Grove. The 
whole trip consumed six weeks. Mr. Colcord purchased a timber and prairie 
claim of William Wick, paying for it $150 in gold. The claim consisted of two 
hundred acres of timber hmd, and three hundred acres of prairie. Upon this 
he built a cabin 12 by 12 feet in size, in the winter of 1837-'38. In this cabin 
the family cooked, ate, washed, slept and kept hotel. A large part of their 
goods was kept in the wagon, which stood in the door yard all winter. In the 
summer of 1838, a house large enough to accommodate the family, and store 
away all the goods, was erected. Mr. Colcord was a farmer, and an educated 
man. After the labors of the day were over, he devoted his time in the even- 
ing to teaching a school at the house of William Wick, and afterwards one in 
his own house. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and at 
the organization of the Society in Genesee Grove, was chosen the first class- 
leader. He was also elected the first Justice of the Peace in Genesee township. 
Mr. Colcord died January 25, 18G5. His children were as follows: Ethan S., 
born April 18, 1822; Abigail, born IMarch 21, 1820; Ralph B., born June 8, 1828; 
Lorena D., born October 5, 1830; John, born June 24, 1832; Rose Ann, born 


April 5, 1835; Ivory, Jr., born February 22, 1837; William H., born July 29, 
1839; Elvira, born July 25, 1841; George W., born May 12, 1843; Mary Angel- 
ine, born November 22, 1847. Ethan S. married Miss Eliza Jane Law in 
September, 1843, and died in August, 1863; children, Albert, Arthur, Royal, 
and Artie. Abigail married Washington Law in 1844, and died in 1864; 
children, Taylor, Joshua, Orland, Wright, and Hunter. Ralph B. married Miss 
Mary A. Shirley, March 8, 1854; children, Emma L., Luella M., and Nora B. 
Lorena D. married John Cummings in 1856, who died in 1864; children Emma 
and May. Mrs. Cummings afterward married Washington Law. Rose Ann 
married Caleb Burgess in 1855; children. Ophelia T., Florence V., Warner, and 
Frederick. Ivory, Jr., married Miss Charlotte Frazer; children, Willard, Irena, 
Celine, Bertha, and Angeline. William H. married Miss Phianna Lineroad; 
children, Alice C, Eustatia, Nettie A., Edith B., Ernest S., Clayton E., Nellie 
L., and Elbertie E. Elvira married James A. DeGroff; children, Raymond, 
Lettie, LeRoy, who died in infancy, and Herbert. George W. married Miss 
Lucre tia Lineroad; no children. Mary Angeline married 0. Terpenning; 
children, Frank J., Harry, and Olia Y. Besides the township and other local 
offices held by Ivory Colcord, he was Coroner of the county from 1839 to 1844, 
and again from 1848 to 1854. He was an active, energetic man, and took a 
prominent part in helping to shape the affairs of the county in early days. 

R. TiLTON Hughes was born in Kentucky, June 17, 1812. When he was 
twelve years old his father and family emigrated to Shawneetown, Illinois. 
After remaining there a few years, they went to Jacksonville, Illinois. At that 
time there was but one house where Jacksonville now stands. They remained 
there until 1834, when they went north, and settled in Elkhorn Grove, which 
was then in Jo Daviess county, but is now in Carroll county. They finally set- 
tled in Genesee Grove in 1839. After remaining a number of years,Mr. Hughes 
sold out and bought Jonathan Haines' farm just west of the Jacobstown mill, 
and two miles northwest of Morrison, where he still lives. By unremitting 
labor he has laid up enough of this world's goods to make himself comfortable, 
besides making provision for all his children, who have settled in his immediate 
neighborhood. Mr. Hughes was married to Mary Jane Scoville, March 13, 1841, 
children: James F., born February 1, 1845; John N., born August 24, 1846; 
Caroline F., born February 18, 1849; Oletha, born March 19, 1859. All are now 
living except James F., who was accidentally drowned in Rock creek, aged ten 
years. Mr. Hughes was in this county nine yeafs^efore the lands were brought 
into market by the government. 

James A. L. Bunce was born in Rensselaer county. New York. He mar- 
ried Hester Lewis. Children: Delos, Delaney, Deborah, Demott, Delia Ann, 
Darwin, Dunmore, Danforth, Delight, David, and Dewitt. All are now living, 
except Darwin. Three are living in Illinois, one in Missouri, and one in Kansas, 
and the others in Iowa. Mr. Bunce died in 1860, and Mrs. Bunce in 1876. 

Mark Harrison was born in Yorkshire, England, May 6. 1804. He was 
put on board a vessel, and became a sailor when quite young. He emigrated to 
the United States in 1826, and remained in New York and Rhode Island until 
1832, employed as a sailor. He afterwards went to Chicago, and was engaged 
on a steamer in the Lake trade. In the spring of 1836 he settled in Whiteside 
county, and worked for Mr. Brink in digging out the mill pit at Empire. He 
made the claim of the Twin Grove property and the adjoining prairie, in part- 
nership with Joe. Mush, in 1837. He married Mrs. Mary Taylor. Children: 
Elizabeth, born October 18, 1840; James H., born November'23. 1842;'Sarah Ann, 
born Mai-ch 31, 1847; Joshua K., born September 3, 1846; Joseph E., born 
September 25. 1849. Joshua K., is dead; the others are living near their 



parents. The grand children number twenty-seven. Mrs. Harrison was born 
in North Carolina, September 10, 1803. She lost both her parents, and lived 
with her brother, keeping house for him after the death of his wife. The brother 
sold his property in North Carolina, and sent his two children, one nine, and 
the other five years old to Illinois, under the care of their aunt. They walked 
the whole distance — fifteen hundred miles. Her brother, remaining to dispose 
of the rest of his property, died suddenly with the cholera, and so the children 
were raised by their aunt. The niece became the wife of Edward Harris, and 
died in Sterling several years ago; the nephew went to Oregon, and was 
killed by the Indians. When Mr. and Mrs. Harrison were married, they cooked 
and ate their wedding dinner at their own cabin. They had no table, bed, 
or chairs; a board, laid on two pins driven in auger holes in one of the logs of 
their cabin, was their table, the seats were three-legged stools; the bed was 
straw which was covered with a sheet. Several years intervened before 
the luxuries of a table and chairs could be indulged in. The party with which 
Mrs. Harrison came from North Carolina carried all their goods on pack horses. 
The pack saddle was made of wood, and fitted the back of the horse. When 
Mr. Harrison was married he had just fifty cents, and his wife had fifteen 
dollars, all of which was invested, on joint account, in the purchase of wheat, 
oats, and corn for seeding purposes. 3Ir. Harrison once took two fat cows to 
Galena to sell. He sold one for $5, and invested the whole amount in the pur- 
chase of two five-pound bunches of cotton yarn. Mrs. Harrison wove this into 
cloth, which constituted the only fabric worn by the family. Mr. Harrison 
sold Mr. Brink wheat at twenty-five cents and took as pay a three year old 
colt valued at thirty dollars. 

Joe Mush was also an Englishman. He came W^est with Mark Harrison, 
and as partners they made the claim of the Twin Grove and the adjoining 
prairie. He had some prairie broken, in 1837, by James D. Bingham. He left 
and went East, and has not been heard from for many years. 

William Stanley was born in Montgomery, now Grayson county, Vir- 
ginia, August 7, 1819. When he was ten years old his father emigrated from 
Virginia to Ohio, a distance of over five hundred miles. All walked but the 
mother, who rode on the pack-horse, carrying the baby. They came to Illinois, 
and settled at Union Grove in 1837; came to Genesee Grove in 1850. He 
married Delia Ann Bunco, November 30, 1843. Children : Rachael, born No- 
vember 29, 1845; Abram, born September 24, 1847; Melina, born November 
12, 1849; Thomas, born November 3, 1851; Esther, born December 26, 1853; 
Andrew, born December 6, 1855; Mary, born September 6, 1858; Isabella, born 
February 18, 1861; Rebecca, born December 10, 1863; and William, born July 
11, 1866. 

Thomas Stanley lived in Genesee Grove thirty-five years. All of his 
fifteen children were born there. He left the Grove a number of years ago, 
and now lives in Iowa. 

Pleasant Stanley came to Genesee Grove in 1837, and lived in the fam- 
ily of William Wick for three years. He worked for Jonathan Haines eight 
years. Married Sarah Jane Crum. Children: one son and five daughters. 
Mr. Stanley lived in Whiteside county twenty-seven years, but in 1864 went to 
Tama county, Iowa, where he now resides. 

Isaac Brookfield was born in the State of New York, July 9, 1791. He 
came and settled in Genesee Grove in July, 1837, building a log cabin. After 
six years he moved to Indiana, but returned in 1858 and settled in Sterling, 
and worked at his trade as shoemaker until 1874. Since then he was an inva- 
lid. He died January 23, 1877, at the ripe age of eighty-six. 


Ephraim Brookpield was born in Genesee county. New York. He went 
to California in 1849; when he returned he attended school at Knox College, 
Gralesburg. He afterwards taught school several years. He married Harriet 
Yager in v'>epteniber. 1859. Children : Louis E., born June 6, 1860; Fannie 
M., born December 29, 1803; Ellen T., born November 17, 1872; and Dora, 
born September 12, 1874. Fannie M. died March 22, 1875. Mr. Brookfield 
was* clerk in the store of J. T. Crum at Genesee Grove. He afterwards became 
a partner, and finally bought out Crum, carrying on the business in his own 
name at Coleta for fourteen years. During all this time he labored with an 
energy and tact that but few men possess. In 1874 he sold the stock and 
buildings to H. S. Wickey, and commenced banking in Rock Falls on his own 
capital. His health failing, he was compelled to seek a warmer climate. He 
went to Florida, but died January 10, 1876, and was buried in the Sterling 

Martin D. McCrea was born in Kentucky, May 31, 1806. His father 
died when he was but ten years old, and Martin was brought up in the family 
of an uncle in Indiana. He married Margaret Ann Crum, January 1, 1835. 
He had three sons and three daughters. He was a peculiar man. Brought up 
on the extreme Western frontier, he was deprived of almost all the advantages 
of common schools. His associations were with the dwellers in the log cabins; 
he hated intensely what he understood to be a mean act. If he made up his 
mind to be a man's friend, he would stand by him until the death. On the 
other hand, if he became possessed with the idea that a man was dishonest, he 
would say so fearlessly. He often indulged in veins of wit and sarcasm, and 
was incapable of revenge. During a cold winter he was making his way on foot 
to Harvey's store, at Empire, to purchase a pair of winter boots. His feet 
being very large, he had spoken to Mr. Harvey to bring on some extra sizes. 
On his way he met a neighbor, who had just come from the store. He hastily 
inquired if the Bush family had been at the store since the boots had come, 
and, being told that they had, he turned around at once and started for home, 
remarking that if the Bush family had been there, there would be none left for 

James McMullen was born in Ireland. He came to Canada, and in 1837 
settled in Genesee. He had a wife and eight children. Hiswife died soon after 
his coming, and he sold out and returned to Canada. He married again, and 
after a number of years came back to Illinois, and settled in Carroll county. 
He is now living in Fulton, but has been an invalid for several years. He was 
an intelligent, enterpri.sing man. 

Jacob Huffman and family came from Canada, and settled on the north 
side of Genesee Grove in 1837. He was a farmer; had four sons and three 
daughters. The oldest son and one daughter died in the Grove. The other 
children are still living, two in Whiteside county. The parents have been dead 
a number of years. 

Mrs. Amanda Wick, a sister of E. T. Hughes, was first married to John 
E. Smith, a son of T. W. Smith, one of the first Judges of the Supreme Court 
of the State of Illinois. She had one child, I. S. Smith, who is now living in 
Chicago. Mrs. Smith afterwards married Azariah Wick, August 6, 1838. She 
had seven children by this marriage. Mr. Wick enlisted in the 75th regiment 
of Illinois Infantry in 1862, as a private, and died in Military Hospital No. 14, 
at Nashville, Tennessee. 

Edward Richardson was an eastern man. He came to Genesee Grove 
in 1838; boarded with Mr. Colcord until his family came in 1839, when he lived 
in the same cabin with Uncle Watty Doud. Soon afterwards his wife died, 


He had one child — a daughter — who married Charles Weed, and settled in Rock 
Island county. Mr. Richardson was the first Postmaster in Genesee Grove, in 
1839. Soon after his wife's death his health failed, and he shortly afterwards 

Ezra R. Huett came from the State of New York, and settled in Genesee 
Grove in 1839. He married Miss Clawson. After remaining a number of years 
he settled in Northern Iowa. He was a carpenter by trade. Had thirteen 

John Yager was born January 3, 1809, in Union county, Pennsylvania. 
His father came to Pickaway county, Ohio, in 1812, and in 1820 removed to 
Jackson county in the same State. He married Elizabeth Ayres, April 19, 1829, 
and came with his family to Illinois in 1836, settling in Chamber's Grove. He 
remained there until 1843, when he came to Whiteside county, and settled 
near Genesee Grove, where he has lived ever since. He had ten children, viz: 
Maria, George, William, Henry, Harriet, Sarah, James, Mavilla, Martha, and 
Amanda. They are all dead but two — Mary, now Mrs. Miller, and Harriet, now 
Mrs. Ephraim Brookfield, of Sterling. Mr. Yager's ancestors were from Ger- 
many. He was brought up a farmer, and followed agricultural pursuits. In 
addition, he was an ordained minister of the church organized by Alexander 
Campbell, now called the Christian church. His wife died October 2, 1852, 
and he married Catherine Nance in JeflFersonville, Indiana, December 12, 1853. 
His wife died June 17, 1863, leaving no children. He married Mrs. Margaret 
A. McCrea, the widow of Martin D. McCrea, November 16, 1863. Mr. Yager, 
although an early settler, never had any claim troubles, and never was concerned 
in any of the controversies, either as a party or as a witness. Many persons 
madeit a business to locate timber and prairie claims, so that about all the 
lands were taken up or claimed. These large claim brokers reduced the 
business to a system. Mr. Yager bought out John Cox, paying three dollars 
per acre for his land. One forty acre lot of that claim has recently been sold 
for two hundred dollars per acre. 

Rensselaer Baker came from New York in 1839. He had a wife and 
two children, a son and a daughter. He went to California, leaving his wife on 
the farm, and has not been heard from recently. Mrs. Baker died about two 
years ago. 

Harvey Summers came from Indiana in 1838. He married Charlotte J. 
Wick, a daughter of Wm. Wick. He is now living in Jasper county, Missouri. 

John Thompson Crum came from Indiana in 1838 in company with Martin 
D. McCrea. Mrs. McCrea was his sister. He made a claim, and after remain- 
ing a number of years he went to Indiana and married Mary Pierce. He had a 
stock of goods at Genesee Grove, which he afterwards sold to Ephriam Brook- 
field, and then went back to Indiana, where he still lives. Mr. Crum built the 
first house in the place now called Coleta, for a store and dwelling house com- 
bined, on the corner of sections 10 and 22. 

William Crum came and made a claim in 1838. He followed farming 
until about ten years ago, when he sold out and went into the dry goods 
business at Gait. He now owns and lives on the farm known in Como as the 
Perkins' place. He first married Emeline Wick, in 1843. Had one child, now 
the wife of Joe. Sales, in Iowa. Mrs. Crum died, and he married Rachel M. 
Lee. Four children were born, but all are now dead. 

MiDDLKTON G. Wood was born in Virginia, February 26, 1811. When 
one year old he was taken to North Carolina, and stayed there until he was six- 
teen, when he went to Grcencastle, Indiana; thence to Rockville. Came West 
and settled in Georgetown, Vermillion county, Illinois. Married Lucy Ann 


Law, December 25, 1832. In the spring of 183G, he went to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, 
but came back to Illinois in the fall of that year, and settled at Eagle Point. 
He lived there until 1843 when he went to Hickory Grove. Mrs. Wood died 
January 11, 1848, leaving three children. Mr. Wood married Sarah West in 
October, 1850, and had seven children by this marriage. He is a blacksmith by 
trade. In January, 1837, he made an agreement with Hezekiah Brink and 
Elijah Worthington to open a blacksmith shop in the upper part of Sterling — 
then called Harrisburg. They agreed to build the shop, furnish the tools, and 
be ready for him to commence work on the first day of May, 1838. At the time 
agreed upon he reported himself ready, but the shop was not completed, and the 
enterprise was abandoned. 

Henry H. Holbrook was born May, 24, 1815 at Cornish, New Hampshire. 
He married Caroline Ross, April 11, 1833. He came west and settled in 
Genesee Grove, December 5, 1838. Mr. Holbrook was a practical farmer, but 
worked at shoe making in the winter season, and when not otherwise employed. 
Children: Jane, Abigal, John, Silas, Sarah, Alzina, Emeline, Watson, Eliza, 
Mary, Isaac, Adeline, and Nancy. Silas, Alzina, Emeline and Nancy, are dead. 
Mr. Holbrook first settled at a spring in the Grove, but after four years removed 
to where he now lives. As late as 1838, the cabins were all built in the timber. 
The belief was universal that no person could live on the prairies on account of 
the severe winters. The father and mother of the subject of this sketch came 
from Steuben county, New York. They travelled in a buggy drawn by one horse, 
while the family and goods were conveyed by two horses. They started in 
October, 1838, and came to Erie, Pennsylvania, where Mr. Holbrook shipped 
one large bos on a sail vessel. After traveling five weeks, making over one 
thousand miles, they arrived at Genesee Grove in December, 1838, having suf- 
fered severely from the cold and exposure. Edward Richardson accompanied 
them, and traveled the whole distance on foot. The vessel on which the box 
was shipped was wrecked, but a portion of the goods was received about a year 
afterwards. The father and mother were both old at the time they came west, 
and died a long time ago. A man calling himself Sharp, squatted in a vacant 
cabin in the neighborhood in the winter of 1838-"39. One of the hogs belong- 
ing to one of the settlers was missing one day, and the proof was conclusive 
that Sharp was the guilty person. The settlers went to his cabin, compelled 
him to hitch his horses to his wagon, while they loaded up his goods, and sent 
him off. He was never heard of afterwards. 

Watson Parish was born in Virginia. His father was in the war of 1812, 
and died in the military hospital twelve miles below Richmond. The mother 
and the rest of the family emigrated to Mercer county, Kentucky, in the fall 
of 1815, and remained there until 1837, when they went to Dyer county, 
Tennessee, remaining there until the spring of 1839. Mr. Parish married 
Louisa Demint. In June, 1839, he emigrated to Illinois, and settled in Genesee 
Grove. Children: William C, Elias, Augustine, Sampson, Watson, Sarah, 
Harrison H., Amanda L., Mary E. Mrs. Parish died in 1847, and soon after 
Mr. Parish again married. The children by his second wife are: John R., Isam 
S., Francis M. Mr. Parish's second wife died, and he married his third wife. 
The children by this marriage were: Hattie G., Amy M., Clara M. William 
C. died in the army November 29, 1861; Elias lives in Johnson county, Nebras- 
ka; Augustine , lives in Butte county, California; Watson resides in Nebraska; 
Sarah married Isaac N. Thorp who enlisted in the army and was drowned 
January 3, 1865; Clara M. died in 1865. Mr. Parish has been extensively 
known as a successful auctioneer. 

Elias Demint came from Tennessee with his family to Illinois, and lived 


about ten miles south of Dixon, at the Inlet. He kept a public house there. 
Settled in Genesee Grove in 1840. Children: Louisa— afterwards Mrs. Parish, 
Isaac, Polly. George. Samuel and Sarah. Mr. Demint after remaining in the 
Grove a number of years, went to Iowa with his family, and is now dead. 

Samuel Landis was born in Virginia in 1792. He married Elizabeth 
Stretch in Indiana. Came to Genesee Grove in the spring of 1836. Children: 
Nathaniel, Susan. Sarah, Enoch, Mary, William, Nancy, John, Elizabeth and 
Maro-aret Ann. Elizabeth, Nancy and Margaret are living in Missouri. Enoch, 
Sarah and John are in Iowa. The rest are in Illinois. Mr. Landis was troubled 
with a tumor which arew so rapidly that a surgical operation became necessary; 
chloroform was administered, and it was skillfully removed, but he did not rally, 
and soon died. Mr. Landis was a cabinet maker by trade, and occasionally work- 
ed at it in connection with farming. Mrs. Landis is still living in Missouri. 


The villase of Coleta is laid out on the corners of sections 9, 10, 15 and 
16. in township 22, range 6 east of the 4th principal meridian. The first build- 
ino' erected was the store of John Thompson Crum, on the corner of section 10. 
After occupying it for a number of years, Mr. Crum purchased an acre of land 
on the opposite corner, on section 9, and moved the building to that corner, 
where he used it as a dwelling and store room. He afterwards sold out to 
Ephraim Brookfield, who in turn sold to Henry S. Wickey, the present owner. 
The forty acre lot on the southeast corner of section 9, and the southwest cor- 
ner of section 10, were owned at first by David Wyman, who afterwards sold it 
to Azariah Wick. Mr. Wick sold it to Alestis S. Smith, who in turn sold to 
C. Overholser. Mr. Overholser sold to Samuel H. Kingery, who afterwards 
sold back again to Overholser. In the plat of the village this forty acre lot 
was laid out into town lots. In 1856 Mr. Crum purchased four acres on the 
northeast corner of section 16. and laid them out into lots. A lot of fourteen 
acres was also sold by Wick to A. S. Smith, who sold to Mr. Crum. This ground 
was- also laid out into village lots. The next owner of them was Samuel Halde- 
man, who sold lots to David Horning, Dr. E. M. Winter, Barrett M. Burns, and 
the balance to Hiram Reynolds. The latter afterwards sold one lot to Andrew 
Griffith, one acre to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the balance to John 
Yager. Wick sold an acre on the northwest corner of section 15 to Wm. Pierce, 
who erected the first house on that comer. Mr. Pierce sold to Mrs. Winslow, 
who soon after sold one lot to Hiram Reynolds, and the other to Henry Kenne- 
dy. On the road leading west, lots were sold by A. T. Crum and William Har- 
row — one, a two acre lot to Cephas Hurless. Mr. Hurless has since sold one 
village lot to Seth Knapp, and one to Catharine Fenton. 

The place was first called "Crum's Store," and then Clayton. The people 
seemingly not being satisfied with either, called a meeting, at which a majority 
voted to call it Coleta. This name was suggested by Miss Nora Porter, now 
Mrs. E. R. Ferguson. The first school house in the village was built in the 
summer of 1858, Ephraim Brookfield being the first, teacher. The number of 
pupils on the roll then was sixty, now it is over one hundred. The first church 
erected was the Methodist Episcopal, in 1868. The Society then numbered 
twenty members; now there are sixty-six. The building is a large frame struc- 
ture, well finished and furnished, to which is also added a neat parsonage. Rev. 
H. F. Clendenin is the present pastor. The Sunday school has fifty scholars, 
with J. W. Tumbleson as Superintendent. The United Brethren built a church 
in 1869, the membership of the Society being then about one hundred, but has 
been reduced by emigration since to about seventy-five. Rev. Mr. Gardner is 

COLETA. 231 

the pastor. The Sunday school has fifty scholars, and David Overholser as Su- 
perintendent. The Christian Church edifice was erected at an expense of 
$2,500. Nearly the whole amount was furnished by John Yager. The church 
has no settled minister at present, but services are held every Sabbath by either 
John Yager or Thomas Stanley. The Sunday school numbers one hundred and 
twenty-five scholars, with Thomas Stanley as Superintendent. Besides the 
three church buildings and school house, all finished in modern style, there is a 
hall over Wickey's store, called " Brookfield Hall," which is used for all public 
meetings. There is also a flourishing Masonic Lodge in the village. Coleta 
contains twenty-eight dwelling houses and eighteen business places, including 
stores, shops, etc., making in all fifty. 

History of Hahnaman Township — Deer Grove — Biographies. 

History of Hahnaman Township. 

The township now known as Hahnaman was originally a part of Portland 
Precinct, then of Rapids Precinct, and so remained up to 1852, when its boun- 
daries were defined and name given by the Commissioners appointed by the 
County Commissioners' Court, but owing to the small number of inhabitants 
was attached to Hopkins township for judicial purposes until 1859, when the 
organization became fully complete. The town is largely made up of what is 
known as swamp lands, fully four-fifths of the area being such lands. Efforts 
were early made in the history of the township to have these lands drained, as 
the soil was found to be exceedingly rich and fertile wherever it conld be culti- 
vated. Finally the county, in 1863-64, resolved to drain the swamp lands in 
all the towns where they were situated, by proper ditching. Previous to this 
action, however, the county had thrown these lands upon the market, and had 
realized from Hahnaman alone about $26,000. The county ditch in this town 
commences about two miles from the east line of the town, and runs about four 
miles, where it strikes the east line of Tampico. It has not proved a success 
as yet, as far as Hahnaman is concerned, although by being deepened, and hav- 
ing branch ditches running into it, as is now proposed, it is thought that every 
acre of the original swamp lands can be reclaimed and brought under a good 
state of cultivation. At present over one-half of these lands remain unim- 
proved. The balance of the town is rolling, and of good soil, with the excep- 
tion of a few sand ridges. On one of these, a short distance north of the resi- 
idence of Mr. Amos Reeves, is what is called the " little blow out," a basin 
scooped out of the sand. A description of these "blow outs" is briefly given in 
the history of Tampico. The crops raised in this town are those usually found 
in all the towns of the county. 

The earliest settlers in Hahnaman were William Renner and family, who 
came from Pennsylvania in 1841, and settled at Deer Grove. Mr. Renner died 
in 1859, at the age of 51 years, and was buried in Bureau county. He left 
eight children, five boys and three girls. Two of the former died while soldiers 
in the Union army. Lemuel Scott, a pensioner of the war of 1812, came next 
in 1845. He came from Vermont, and also settled at Deer Grove, and died at 
the house of Mr. Renner in 1849. The widow Renner is still living in Hahna- 
man, a neighbor of Mr. Reeves. In 1854 the widow Ryder, with several sons, 
settled in the township, and in 1855 came W. M. Halsted, James Chandler, 
Benj. Ackland and Martin Clark, from Indiana; Wm. Johnson, from New York, 
and Wm. Humphrey, from La Salle county, in this State. In the following 
year, 1856, came John Van Valkenburgh, from New York, Wm.'Brakey, Geo. 
Brakey and Wm. McNickle, from Pennsylvania; Peter Ford and Thomas Lan- 
gan, from Ireland, and in 1857, Amos Reeves, from New York, and "Reuben 
Davis, from Ohio. Dr. Davis originally settled in Montmorency township, as 
will he seen in the history of that township. During that year what is known 


as " Paddy's Island," located in the eastern part of the town, was also pretty 
well settled. In 1858 a large number came and settled in the town. 

The first house, or rather cabin, was built of logs at Deer Grove, by Wil- 
liam Renner, in 1841, and the few that were built previous to 1857, were of that 
material, or as near to it as could be had. In 1857 the first frame buildings were 

The J^st school house was built in 1857 in what is known as Brakey's set- 
tlement. It was sixteen feet square and seven feet high. Mr. Amos Reeves, 
the present Supervisor of the town, taught school there in the winter of 1857- 
'58, and was consequently the first school teacher in the town. He had an at- 
tendance of twenty-two scholars during that winter, some of them coming a 
distance of five miles. Now there are five school districts in the town, each 
having a good school house, with an average of forty-five scholars. 

The first white child born in the town was a son of De Witt and Catharine 
Ryder, in the fall of 1855. His name is Isaiah Ryder, and he is now a resident 
of Kansas. The first wedding was that of H. V. Hinman to Miss Jane L. Bra- 
key, the happy event occurring in 1859. The wedded pair are now living in 
Kansas. The first death was that of the widow Ryder, which occurred in 1855. 
She was about 53 years of age, and was buried in a private burial place now on 
the farm of Cornelius Cunningham. No regular religious services were held in 
the town until about a year ago, when a preaching place was established by the 
Methodists at Deer Grove, services being held in the school house at that place. 
There being no meeting houses in the town, members of the different denomi- 
nations attend church either at Tampico, Sterling, or Rock Falls. 

The first election for town officers was held at the school house in District 
No. 2, on the 3d of April, 1860. Reuben Davis was chosen Moderator, and 
Amos Reeves, Clerk. Twenty-six votes were polled. 

At the second town meeting held at the school house in District No. 1, on 
the 2d of April, 1861, a tax of $125 was voted to defray town expenses. Thirty 
cents on the one hundred dollars was also voted to be raised for road purposes. 
Thirty-six votes were polled at that election. 

The following are the names of the principal town officers from 1860 to 
the present: 

Supervisors:— 1S60, Wm. M. Halsted; 1861, 0. H. McNickle; Mr. Mc- 
Nickle resigned in September, and Wm. Johnson was appointed to fill the va- 
cancy; 1862, Wm. Johnson; 1863, M. A. Myers; 1864-65, Reuben Davis; 1866, 
Amos Reeves; 1867-68, Reuben Davis; 1869-72, Edward Perkinson; 1873, 
John Conlon; 1874-'75, John McCabe; 1876-'77, Amos Reeves. 

TotV7i Clerks: — 1861, Amos Reeves; Mr. Reeves resigned in 1861 to go to 
the war, and Wm. M. Halsted was appointed; 1862-65, Wm. M. Halsted; 1866, 
0. H. McNickle; 1867, J. C. Brakey; 1868, Wm. M. Halsted; 1869-'75, Amos 
Reeves; 1876-'77, E. L. Halsted. 

Assessors:— 1860, Geo. S. Brakey; 1861, Thomas McCormick; 1862-'63, 
Reuben Davis; 1864-'65, Thomas McCormick; 1866, Geo. S. Brakey; 1867, J. 
C.Reeves; 1868, Thomas McCormick; 1869, Geo. Dee; 1870, Wm. Caughey; 
1871-'73, Geo. Dee; 1874, John Cooney; 1875, W. K. Caughey; 1876-'77, John 

Collectors:— 18G0, Reuben Davis; 1861, W. E. Walter; 1862, Henry Hum- 
phrey; 1863, W. J. Humphrev: 1864, Wm. M. Halsted; 1865. John McCabe; 
1866, H. V. Hinman; 1867-69, A. S. Fee; 1870-'71, W. K. Caughey; 1872- 
'73, John H. Conlon; 1874, Patrick Fahey; 1875, John H. Conlon; 1876-77, 
John Conlon. 

Justices of the Peace.— 1860, Reuben Davis, Geo. S. Brakey; 1861, Geo. S. 



Brakey; 18G2, Thos. McCormick; 1863, M. A. Myers; 1864-'68, John McCabe; 
1872, Thos. Higgins; 1873, Amos Eeeves, John McCabe; 1876, C. L. Dewey; 
1877, Amos Reeves, C. J. Burgess. 

The annual election held in April, 1864, was declared void by reason of 
alleged illegal votes being polled. For that reason many of the officers then de- 
clared elected did not qualify, and those who did soon afterwards resigned, thus 
leaving the town without officers. A special election was therefore called, and 
held on the 21st of May following, and resulted in the re-election mainly of the 
officers chosen at the April election. 

On the 6th of February, 1865, a special election was held for the purpose 
of voting for or against levying a tax to raise a sum of money sufficient, with 
the county and government bounties, to secure men to fill the quota of the 
town under the last call of the President of the United States to replenish the 
Union armies. Thirty-five votes were cast, thirty-one of which were for the 
tax, and four against it. The records do not show what was done in reference 
to this tax. The town afterwards stood a draft, three men being conscripted by 
its means. 

A special election was held on the 30th of September, 1869, for the pur- 
pose of voting for or against the town subscribing for one hundred shares of 
$100 each to the capital stock of the Illinois Grand Trunk Railway, now known 
as the Prophetstown branch of the C, B. & Q. Railroad. Twenty-one votes 
were polled, all of which were in favor of subscribing to the stock and issuing 
bonds in payment thereof. The railroad /company afterwards did not feel will- 
ing to agree to the terms of the bonds, but wanted five per cent, of the amount 
paid down, and the balance when sufficient stock was subscribed to grade, 
bridge, and tie that part of the road between Mendota and Prophetstown. To. 
test the question whether the town would agree to the requirements of the 
railroad company in reference to the terms of the bonds or not, another special 
election was held on the 25th of June, 1870. Nineteen votes were polled at 
that election, eight of which were in favor of the company's proposition, and elev- 
en against it. No change was, therefore, made in the terms of the bonds, and 
they were issued on the 1st of January, 1871. These terms were that one-fifth 
of the bonds should become due in five years from date, and one-fifth annually 
thereafter until the whole amount should be paid, the interest to be ten per 
cent, per annum. The company finally took the bonds, $10,000 in amount, and 
issued to the town a certificate of stock to that amount. Two thousand dollars 
have been paid on the bonds, and the town has two thousand dollars more 
ready to pay. 

A special election was also held on the 17th of February, 1877, to elect a 
committee of three to investigate the legality of the action of the Board of 
Supervisors of the county in turning the unexpended part of the swamp land 
fund of the county into the school fund, the committee to employ counsel and 
take such other steps as may be necessary to obtain information regarding such 
action, and make a report at the next annual town meeting. Amos Reeves, 
Manson Robbins, and A. S. Fee were elected the committee, and they reported 
at the appointed time that, according to the best legal authority they could 
obtain, the county had illegally transferred the swamp land fund to the school 
fund before completing the draining of the swamp land under the act contem- 
plating the drainage of the land. 

Probably the earliest traveled road is the one known as the Sterling and 
Green River road. Indications show that this road was originally an Indian 
trail, and was afterwards used by white men in going from Rock River Valley 
to the Green River country and beyond. Horse thieves used it early, and 

t>EER GROVE. 235 

even up to a date within the recollection of some of the younger inhabitants of 
that section, as a favorite road upon which to " switch " off their stolen equines. 
Many recollect the time when hardly a day passed without inquiries being 
made as to whether strange horses and men had not passed along the route 
going southward. The first legally laid out road was the one commencing at 
the north line of the town, between sections 3 and 4, and running in a direct 
line to Deer Grove, known as the Sterling and Deer Grove road. This road was 
laid out in 1856. The next legally laid out road commences also at the north 
line of the town, between sections 5 and 6, and runs south in a direct line to 
the southeast corner of section 19; thence west to the town line. This road 
was laid out in 1857. Other roads followed as the town became settled and 
the demands of the settlers required. 

One thing is due to the town of Hahnaman, and should be favorably men- 
tioned. Soon after the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion, the majority 
of the young men of the town enlisted as soldiers in the Union service. The 
town was young then and sparsely populated, yet the inhabitants felt that they 
must bear their share of the burden demanded by the crisis to maintain the 
unity of the States. Ten of these young men enlisted with the Yates Sharp- 
shooters in October, 1861, viz: 0. H. McNickle, H. P. Hinman, Thomas Har- 
vey, Amos Reeves, William Humphrey, Mahlon Humphrey, Crosby Ryder, 
H. D. Ryder, Henry May, and one other. Hinman became afterwards Second 
Lieutenant. Henry May was killed at the battle of Atlanta, in 1864. Mahlon 
Humphrey died at Cairo, in 1862, of fever. Lieut. Hinman was wounded in 
the knee, while on skirmish duty in front of Atlanta, in 1864. John Renner 
enlisted in the 57th Illinois regiment, and was taken prisoner near Corinth, in 
1863, and confined at Andersonville prison for four months. His sufferings 
were so severe that he has not been a well man since. E. L. Halsted enlisted 
in one of the Chicago batteries in 1862. Henry Fluck and Henry Pott en- 
listed in the 75th Illinois Volunteers. Pott lost an eye in the service. Pat- 
rick Fahey also afterwards enlisted in the same regiment. J. C. Reeves joined 
the 9th New York cavalry regiment in 1861.- James Renner, Walter Johnson, 
T. B. Davis, John Chambers, Albert McNickle, H. S. Humphrey, and some 
others enlisted in different Illinois regiments, the names of which we could not 
ascertain. With the exception of Henry May and Mahlon Humphrey, it is be- 
lieved that all came back at the end of their enlistment, or at the close of the 
war, the most of them at the latter period. 

The Assessor's books of the town for 1877 show 10,781 acres of improved 
land, and 12,040 unimproved. The total assessed value of all lands is $132,- 
350. Number of improved lots, 8; unimproved, 24; number of horses, 518; 
cattle, 1,434; mules and asses, 6; sheep, 16; hogs, 1,825; carriages and wag- 
ons, 154; sewing and knitting machines, 43; melodeons and organs, 8; value of 
personal property, $23,840; railroad property, $26,814; assessed value of all 
property, $183,112. 

The population of Hahnaman in 1870 was 624, of which number 423 were 
of native, and 201 of foreign birth. The estimated population of the town in 
1877 is 800. Popular vote in November, 1876, 99. 

Deer Grove. 
Deer Grove Postoffice was established in 1873, W. H. Wheeler being com- 
missioned as Postmaster. The first settlement in Deer Grove, as will be seen 
elsewhere, was made by William Renner. Mr. Wheeler came in 1873, and 
built a frame house and made other improvements. Soon after this came Cady 
J. Burgess, Harvey Durr, Henry Pott, M. Patterson, and others. Mr. "Wheeler 


opened a store in 1873, and ran it for two years, when lie sold out to Charles 
L. Dewey, the present owner. In 1875 an elevator was built by Stilson & For- 
ward, of Tampico, who ran it for a year and then disposed of all their interest 
in it to Charles L. Dewey. On the resignation of Mr. Wheeler in 1875, Mr. 
Dewey became Postmaster, making him at present a public official, merchant, 
and buyer and shipper of grain, stock, and produce. A good market is furnished 
by Mr. Dewey, as he pays the same prices for grain and hogs as are paid in 
Sterling, thus making it a point of interest to Hahnaman farmers. Lately a 
store has also been put up by Joseph Burke, a blacksmith shop by T. H. C. 
Dow, and a shoe shop by E. Brigham. There are at present fifteen families in 
the place. 


Amos Reeves is a native of New York State, and came to Whiteside 
county with the intention of making it his home in 1857. Upon arriving here 
he heard of the cheapness and fertility of the so-called swamp lands, and upon 
looking them over purchased a large tract upon which he now resides. In the 
winter of 185(3-'57 he taught school in what is known as Brakey's settlement. 
When the town of Hahnaman was organized he was elected its first Town 
Clerk, but, before the expiration of his term, resigned to enlist as a volunteer 
in the Union army, joining the celebrated Yates Sharpshooters. He remained 
in the service during the entire war, and, although participating in many bat- 
tles and skirmishes with courage and zeal, came back unwounded. Almost im- 
mediately upon his return he was elected Supervisor of his town, and from 
1869 to 1875 was continuously Town Clerk. In 187G he was elected Super- 
visor, and again in 1877, now holding the office. He is one of Hahnaman's 
public-spirited men, and is always at the front when her interests are at stake. 
Mr. Reeves is a bachelor in the prime of life. 

Dr. Reuben Davis is a native of Ohio, and came to Whiteside county in 
1854, settling first in Montmorency, purchasing land on section 22 of that town. 
He remained in 3Iontmorency until 1857, when he moved to Hahnaman and 
purchased the large farm upon which he at present resides. The people of the 
town early discovered his fitness for public position, and at the first election 
after the town was organized he was elected Collector. He was afterwards re- 
peatedly elected Supervisor and Assessor of the town. Perhaps no man in 
Hahnaman has taken a more leading and active part in forwarding the interests 
of the town than Dr. Davis. He is a thorough agriculturist, justly priding him- 
self upon the success of his crops and the superiority of his stock. During the 
first part of August, 1877, he entered into the mercantile business also, with 
one of his sons, at the village of Tampico, erecting a fine brick store for the 


History of Hume Township — Biographical. 

History of Hume Township. 

The territory now comprising the township of Hume at first formed a part 
of Portland and Prophetstown Precincts. In 1852 the boundaries of the town- 
ship were defined, and its name given, by the Commissioners appointed by the 
County Commissioners' Court to divide Whiteside county into townships under 
the township organization law. Hume includes all that part of Congressional 
township 20, north of range 6 east of the Fourth Principal Meridian, South of 
Rock river, and contains twenty-five full sections, and eight fractional sections. 
The whole surface of the township was originally prairie, with not a tree to 
diversify the scenery, but since its settlement groves have been planted, and 
almost every farm has its large orchard. Now the township presents a beautiful 
contrast of broad fields and wood land. Every acre is susceptible of cultivation. 
A small portion needs more draining than it has received, but when that is done 
the soil will yield abundantly. One-third of the township is bottom land, the 
remainder a rich table land, and about all enclosed either as cultivated fields, 
meadow, or pasture lands. A part of the county ditch runs through sections 
twenty-five and thirty-six in the southeast part of the township. Rock river 
forms most of the boundary of the township on the north, but there are no 
streams running through it. This lack, however, is abundantly made up by 
numerous wells which furnish an excellent quality of water. Hume did not 
become fully organized until 1857, the east half being attached to Hopkins, and 
the west to Prophetstown, from 1852 until that time, for judicial purposes. 

The first settler in what is now the township of Hume, was Leonard Morse, 
who came from Lee county, Illinois, and made a claim on section sixteen, in 
1836. Upon this claim he built a log cabin, the first house of any kind put up 
in the town, and lived in it with his family until 1843 when he sold out and 
went to McHenry county, Illinois. The next settler was Uriah Wood who 
came in 1839, and settled on section sixteen, where he built a house with sods, 
and besides occupying it with his family, consisting of a wife and seven children, 
kept boarders. Where the boarders came from, and what they did in Hume at 
that day, the ancient chronicles do not state. The most probable supposition 
is that they came into this new Canaan to spy out the land. If so, they could 
not have failed to make a good report upon their return to their brethren. 

Hume being comparatively a new township, the number of those denominated 
old settlers who have resided, or do now reside within its limits, is quite small. 
Those who came previous to July, 1840, were Leonard Morse, and Uriah Wood, 
already mentioned, David Ramsey, and Charles Wright. Those coming shortly 
afterwards were William Ramsay, Lyman Baker, J. S. Scott, and David Scott, 
and still later David Cleaveland, R. F. Stewart, J. G. Peckham, J. D. Bean, 
S. D. Perry, Austin Morse, Gr. W. Curtis, and those elsewhere mentioned. 

As yet there is no church edifice in the township, although the Wesleyan 
Methodists have a Parsonage near Mr. J. Vandemark's on section thirty-five. 
Religious services are held by the Methodists, and some other denominations, 


in school houses. Those who belong to religious organizations, however, 
usually attend church at Sterling, Rock Falls, Prophetstown, or Tampico. 

A Postoffice was established at South Hume in 1874, and S. D. Perry 
appointed Postmaster. It was run for about two years, and then discontinued. 
That was the onlj' Postoffice that has been established in the township. 

3Ir. William Ramsay has the credit of first stepping -'down and out" of the 
ranks of the bachelors in the township of Hume, and, participating in the de- 
lights and assuming the cares of a Benedict. His choice was Miss Lucy Ann 
Church, and a fortunate one it has proved. The marriage took place February 
3, 1845^ 

The first birth was a child of Leonard Morse, one of the original settlers of 
the township, and occurred in 1838, and the second a daughter of Sidney 
Barker, in 1841. 

The first person to depart this life was Miss Ann Maria Ramsay, a sister 
of William Ramsay, her death taking place in the fall of 1842. After that there 
was not a death in the town for a number of years, and the mortality list has 
been very small from that time to the present. There is probably not a health- 
ier town in Whiteside county, than Hume. 

The first school in the township was taught by Miss Jane Griffith, in 1857, 
in what is known as the Cleaveland school house. This school house had just 
been completed when Miss Grriffith commenced her school, and was the first one 
erected in the township. Now there are six school buildings, known as the 
Hume, East Hume, Hume Center, Morse, Perry, and Cleaveland school houses. 
All of these are good edifices, and well furnished with improved seats, and 
proper school apparatus. Schools are taught nine months during the year. 

The old stage road originally leadiugfrom Beloit to Rock Island, afterwards 
from Chicago to Rock Island, but better known in this section as the Dixon and 
Rock Island road, was the first traveled road in the township. It is now known 
as the Sterling and Prophetstown road. The first legally laid out road in the 
township is the one running through Hume Center. 

The following have been the Supervisors, Town Clerks, Assessors, Collect- 
ors, and Justices of the Peace, of the township of Hume, from its organization 
in 1857, until the present time: 

Su2)ervisors:—18bl-6b, Charles Wright; 1866, S. M. Elliott; 1867, John 
C. Paddock; 1868-'70, Austin Morse; 1871, John H. Plumley; 1872-74, John 
C. Paddock; 1875-76, M. C. McKenzie; 1877, R. C. Crook. 

Toivn Clerks:— lSb7-b8, Joseph G. Peckham; 1859, J. D. Bean; 1860-'63, 
John R. Barr; 1864, Wm. H. Johnson; 1865, Wm. F. Nichols; 1866, J. H. 
John.son; 1867-'68, W. H. Johnson; 1869-72, Joseph G. Peckham; 1873, 
George C. Ely; 1874-77, J. H. Vandemark. 

Assessors:— ISbl, R. S. Stewart; 1858, Joseph G. Peckham; 1859-60, 
Austin Morse; 1861, J. J. Morse; 1862-'63, James Sheppard; 1864, Joseph A. 
Spencer; 1865, James Lans; 1866, John C. Paddock; 1867, Adam Spotts; 1868, 
S. M. Elliott; 1869-72, S.l). Perry; 1873, M. C. McKenzie; 1874, S. D. Perry; 
1875, H. H. Witherwax; 1876, J. B. Loomis; 1877, H. H. Witherwax. 

Collectors:— 18b7-b8, Harmon Cleveland; 1859, A. H. Scott; 1860, Jerome 
G. Morse; 1861, J. J. Morse; 1862-'63, James Sheppard; 1864, J. J. Morse; 
1865, Edwin Holcomb; 1866, A. J. Treadwell; 1867, J. R. Barr; 1868, George 
Haven; 1869-71, G. W. McNair; 1872-73, John W. Wright; 1874, John Mee; 
1875, M. L. Lee; 1876, E. F. Nichols; 1877; W.A.Ransom. 

Justices of the Peace : — 1857, Austin Morse, G. W. Curtis; 1860, Austin 
Morse; 1864, Charles Wright, Austin Morse; 1868; W. H. Macomber, E. F. 
Nichols; 1871, David Cleveland; 1876, John W. Wright, G. P. Ross. 


The township of Hume contains 18,484 acres of improved land, and not an 
acre of unimproved, as appears by the Assessor's books. It is the only town- 
ship in the county that makes such a showing, and the figures speak more em- 
phatically and pointedly than words can possibly do of the fertility and splen- 
did situation of its eighteen and a half thousand acres. The township next to 
it, in regard to unimproved lands is Coloma, that township having only one hun- 
dred and thirty acres of such lands. The Assessor's books also show that the 
number of horse's in the township of Hume in 1877 was 573; of cattle, 2,002; 
mules and asses, 17; sheep, 55; hogs, 3,439; carriages and wagons, 194; 
watches and clocks, 103; sewing and knitting machines, 77; melodeons and 
organs, 23; total value of lands, lots, and personal property, $342,053. 

The population of Hume in "1870, as shown by the Federal census of that 
year, was 634, of which 565 were of native birth and 69 of foreign birth. The 
population in 1860 was 195. The estimated population in 1877 is 850. 


Charles Wright was born in the town of Ruport, Bennington county, 
Vermont, April 27, 1806, and was brought up in his native Green Mountain State. 
At the age of twenty he crossed over into Washington county, New York, where 
he remained a year, and at the age of twenty-one settled in Burford, county of 
Oxford, Canada West. He resided in Canada from that time until April, 1839, 
when he came- to Whiteside county and settled first near Prophetstown, and in 
1840 in Hume. Mr. Wright married Miss Cynthia Martin at Blenheim, Oxford 
county, Canada, on the 31st of January, 1833. Their children were four sons, 
and four daughters : Charlotte P., born July 9, 1834; Alexander H., born 
June 17, 1836; Charles P., born July 9, 1838; John W., born March 23, 1847; 
David E., born October 12, 1853; Emily M., born September 18, 1840; Cynthia 
C, born November 4, 1842, and Sarah E., born May 20, 1844. Of these, Alex- 
ander H. died November 25, 1865, aged twenty-nine years, and Charles P., May 
28, 1857, aged twenty, both of consumption ; David E. died at the age of six 
years. Charlotte P. married Abel Cleaveland February 3, 1852; Mr. Cleaveland 
died ^Vugust 18, 1855, and Mrs. Cleaveland married Carlos Haven, March 4, 1857; 
she is now residing at Port Henry, New York. John Wentworth Wright mar- 
ried Miss Mary Jane Jones, March 1, 1870; children, Mertie E., born December 
7, 1873, and Ralph Collier, born November 13, 1875; Mr. Wright is now an ex- 
tensive farmer, residing at the old homestead in Hume. Emily M. married 
James Johnson, March 4, 1857; had one child, Lai-mia, born October, 1859; 
Mr. Johnson died in April, 1862; in April 1864, Mrs. Johnson married Geo. M. 
Fern, and is now living in Prophetstown; children, Mary E. and Charles W. 
Cynthia C. married George Haven, April- 12, 1860; Mr. Haven was a native of 
Essex county, New York, and came to Whiteside in 1854, and was a farmer and 
stock grower; he died October 30, 1875, of typhoid fever, at the age of forty- 
two years; there is one child, Nellie, by this marriage. Sarah E. married Wal- 
lace Johnson; children, Edwin H., Grace E., and Charlotte P. Mr. Wright's 
first wife died January 24, 1855. He afterwards married Miss Nancy A. Brydia, 
who still resides at the homestead in Hume. During his early days Mr. Wright 
was a school teacher, and then he became a farmer which occupation he followed 
until his death, which occurred September 25, 1875, having very nearly arrived 
at three score years and ten, the allotted age of man. He occupied a number of 
public positions during his lifetime, the duties of which he discharged with 
credit to himself, and with general satisfaction to the public. In 1852 he was 
elected Sheriff of the county; for nine successive years was Supervisor for the 
township of Hume, and for seven years Deputy Revenue Assessor in this Dis- 


trict. As a man, his actions were guided by the golden rule; as a neighbor and 
friend he was kind and generous, and in the discharge of the rare quality of 
charity was wont to quote the Scripture passage, "It is more blessed to give than 
to receive." He was the center of the social circle into which he was thrown, 
having an inexhaustible fund of anecdotes, and a faculty of relating every inci- 
dent in that peculiarly happy manner that renders the relator so indispensable 
to a social gathering. 

WiLLlA3i Eamsay is a native of Oneida county, New York, and was born 
February 16, 1815. On the 3d of February, 1845, he married Miss Lucy Church, 
a native of Oxford, Chenango county, New York. The children of this mar- 
riage have been : William F., born April 27, 1846; Ann Maria, born August 8, 
1847; Lucy E., born April 22, 1851; Lehman McNeal, born July 11, 1858, and 
one son who died in infancy. William F. married Miss Alida Kleespie, Decem- 
ber 20, 1876. Mr. Ramsay has long been a resident of Hume township, and is 
one of its reliable and solid citizens. He was brought up as a farmer, and has 
always followed that occupation, together with stock raising. 

David Rams AY was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, in 1787, and mar- 
ried Miss Lydia Butler, in Vermont, iu 1812. After his marriage he emigrated 
to Oneida county. New York, remaining there until 1840 when he came to 
Whiteside county, and settled on what is now the Morse farm, on section ten, 
in the present township of Hume. He built a frame house upon this farm, 
which was considered a large one in those days, and though not intending it for 
a hotel, it was used as the central stopping place between Rock Island and Dixon, 
on the main road from Chicago to Rock Island. The old Indian trail from Chi- 
cago to Rock Island was about a mile south of his house. Mr. Ramsay died in 
1852, and Mrs. Ramsay in 1860. 

JosiAH Scott is a native of Ohio, ai5d was born May 18, 1819. He came 
to Whiteside county, with his father's family, in June, 1839. On the 13th of 
March, 1846, he married Miss Harriet J. Coryell. The children by this marriage 
have been : Walter H., born December 24, 1847; Edwin D., born November 
15, 1849; Celestia L., born July 8, 1853; Hiram B., born November 15, 1855; 
Eliza J., born May 10, 1857; Franklin C., born February 27, 1858; Alice A., 
born February 17, 1860; Jesse T., born January 12, 1862; Orange M., born July 
31, 1863; Bertha L., born May 26, 1867; Hattie A., born October 24, 1869. 
Two children died in infancy. Walter H. married Miss Gertrude Wilcox; one 
child, George. Celestia L. married William E. Richardson; children, Charles 
and Bessie. Eliza J. married George E. Baker; children, Frederick, and Ida. 
Edwin D. and Hiram B. are teachers. Mr. Scott owns a fai-m of two hundred 
and eighty acres on section twelve. 

Lyman Baker was born in Washington county. New York, January 31, 
1818, and was married to Miss Anna J. Treadwell, July 19, 1836. They have 
one child, Clarence A., born January 11, 1858. Mr. Baker is an old resident of 
Hume township, and owns a fine farm on section eleven. He is a good neigh- 
bor, friend, and a respected citizen. 

David Cleaveland is a native of the town of Western, Oneida county, 
New York, and was born June 16, 1802. He first came to Whiteside county in 
1850, and after selecting his farm in Hume returned to the East, and in 1852 
brought on his family, then consisting of fourteen persons. Mr. Cleaveland was 
married to Miss Amy Hawkins, in Oneida county. New York, in July, 1843. 
This lady is spoken of in the highest terms by every one in Hume and vicinity. 
The children by this marriage have been : Delight, Abel, Harmon, George, 
David, Jr., Mary, Cyrus, Edward, Jay, Nelon, Squire, and three who died in 
infancy at the old home in New York State. Harmon married Miss Mary An- 


nis, and lives in Montana Territory. Squire is unmarried, and lives in Texas. 
Delight married Ezra P. Adams, and lives in Hume. Abel married Miss Char- 
lotte P. Wright; on the 18th of August, 1855, he died very suddenly of heart 
disease at his house, in Hume; the widow sometime afterwards married Carlos 
Haven, who is also now dead; Mrs. Haven resides at Port Henry, New York. 
George married Miss Grertrude Andrews, and lives in Prophetstown. David, Jr. 
married Miss Almara Walker, and lives in Hume. Mary married William Thomp- 
son, and lives in Floyd county, Iowa. Cyrus married Miss Mary Mulcay, and 
lives in Tampico. Edward married Miss Harriet Morehead, and lives in Hume. 
Jay married Miss Fanny Denison, and lives in Hume. Nelon married Miss 
Fanny Humaston, and lives in Hume. David, Jr. was one of the earliest to en- 
list as a private in Company B., .S-tth Illinois Volunteers, and for bravery and 
meritorious conduct rose to be Captain. He is universally spoken of by those 
who knew him during the war, as one of the bravest of the Army of the Ten- 
nessee. When he arrived at Morrison, on his way home at the close of the war, 
his father was in attendance at the Circuit Court at that city, as a juror, and 
was actually one of the twelve in hearing a case, but no sooner did the car 
whistle reach his ears than he deliberately stepped out of the jury box, seized 
his hat, and turned to go out of the court room. Judge Heaton was presiding, 
and as soon as he noticed Mr. Cleaveland's movements, asked him where he was 
going. "Going to see Dave," was the sententious reply. "Then hold on a min- 
ute," said Judge Heaton, "and I will adjourn Court." True enough, the Court 
was adjourned, and Mr. Cleaveland met his gallant soldier son. Two other of 
his sons were also soldiers in the Union Army — Cyrus in the 34th Illinois Vol- 
unteers, and Edward in the 75th. Edward was wounded, and afterwards hon- 
orably discharged. Mr. Cleaveland was Commissioner of Highways of Hume 
township for fifteen years, and also served a term as Justice of the Peace. His 
farm is on sections nineteen and thirty, and comprises three hundred and twenty 
acres, all of which lies in a body. 

John H. Plumley is a native of the State of Vermont, and came to 
Whiteside county in 1856, remaining one year in Prophetstown, and then pur- 
chasing his present farm on section twenty-nine in Hume. In 1850 he married 
Miss Caroline Parks, a native of Waterford, Caledonia county, Vermont. The 
children arc John G., and Charles C, both of Avhom live in Hume. When Mr. 
Plumley purchased his farm there were no fences or houses in sight. He got 
his first dwelling from Charles McCarter by trading a silver watch for it, and by 
enlarging it and placing it on a ridge it served as a landmark for those coming 
through the township. Mr- Plumley has been Supervisor of the township, and 
held other ofiices, within the gift of his fellow townsmen. His farm is situated 
on sections twenty-nine and thirty-two, and contains two hundred and forty acres 
of land under an excellent state of cultivation. 

Marlon C. McKenzie was born in Essex county, New York, in 1823, and 
came first to Whiteside county in 1841, and remained three years, when he re- 
turned East. In 1865 he again came to Whiteside, and purchased his present 
farm in Hume township, upon which he has since continued to live. In 1849 
he married Miss Marian M. Haven. Their only child is May, now fourteen 
years of age. Mr. McKenzie has served for two terms as member of the Board 
of Supervisors, and has also been Assessor for the township. He has two hun- 
dred and forty acres of land on sections 28 and 32. Besides carrying on his 
farm, he is largely engaged as a stock raiser and dealer. 

John C. Paddock is a native of the town of Lee, Oneida county, New 
York, and was born in 1833, and in November, 1851, came to Whiteside county 
with his father, the latter settling on section 24, in Prophetstown township. In 


1866 he purchased three hundred and twenty acres on sections 21 and 28 in the 
township of Hume, all of which lies in a body. Mr. Paddock married Miss Mary 
p]. Besse, on the 25th of December, 1855, the children of this marriage being: 
Fred. Nellie, and Quincy, all of whom reside at home. He was Deputy Sheriif 
of Whiteside county under Robert G. Clendenin, and has served four years 
each as Supervisor and Justice of the Peace, of Hume township. He was also 
the candidate of the Democratic and Liberal parties for Sheriff, in 1872, with- 
out seeking the nomination, and polled a large vote. Mr. Paddock's name was 
the only one mentioned in either convention, for the position. He has lately 
become a resident of Prophetstown, having rented his farm in Hume. 

Rodney C Crook is a native of Corinth, Orange county, Vermont, and 
was born August 24, 1836. In 1838 his father came to Whiteside with the 
family, and located in Prophetstown. Mr. Crook married Miss Mary C. Brydie, 
in Livingston county, Illinois. His farm in Hume is situated on sections 30 
and 31. and is one of the most finely cultivated ones in the township. He has 
been School Director, School Trustee, Commissioner of Highways, and is the 
present Supervisor of the township. The frequency with which public positions 
have been conferred upon him, show the estimation in which he is held by his 
fellow townsmen. 


History op Hopkins Township — Como — Galt — Empire — Biooraphical. 

History of Hopkins Township. 

The present township of Hopkins first formed a part of Harrisburg and 
Crow Creek Precincts, and in 1837 became attached to Elkhorn Precinct, by 
action of the County Commissioners' Court of Ogle county, where it remained 
until June, 1839, when that part lying west of the east line of township 21, 
range 6 east, and Elkhorn creek, was placed in Round Grove Precinct, the part 
lying east of Elkhorn creek remaining in Elkhorn Precinct. When the town- 
ships were organized in 1852 under the township organization law by the Com- 
missioners appointed by the County Commissioners' Court, Hopkins was given 
all of Congressional township 21 north, range 6 east, with the exception of a 
small fraction of section 25 on the east, and four acres of section 34 on the 
south. Shortly after, when the township of Como was dropped, Hopkins gained 
parts of sections 2, 3 and 4 of township 20 north, range 6 east, north of Hock 
river, the balance north of that river going to Lyndon. The township is made 
up principally of rolling prairie and timber land, the large tract of timber known 
as Round Grrove lying wholly within its limits. Besides this grove, consider- 
able timber skirts the banks of Elkhorn creek and Rock river. The prairie 
land is exceedingly fertile, well cultivated, and produces abundantly. The 
township is watered by Elkhorn creek, which comes into it on section 13, and 
flows at first westerly until it reaches section 14, and thence in a directiou 
a little west of south through sections 23, 26, and 35, until it reaches Rock 
river. A mill-race commencing on section 26, and running through the village 
of Como, connects this creek also with Rock river. Spring creek, rising in 
Genesee township, runs through sections 3, 11, 13, and 14, and unites with 
the Elkhorn a short distance southwest of Empire. Elkhorn creek has also 
a tributary rising on section 9, which flows into it in a southeasterly direction. 
The west part of the township is watered by Deer Creek and its tributaries. 

The first settlement made in the territory now comprising the township of 
Hopkins was made by Jason Hopkins and Isaac H. Brittell, where the village 
of Como now stands, in 1835. In the autumn of 1832, as the troops which 
had been engaged in the Blackhawk War were returning to their homes, Mr. 
Hopkins, with a party, came to Rock river, and in coasting along its banks 
came to the site of the present village of Como. Being impressed with the 
beauty of the place, he made a claim covering the whole tract, known in pio- 
neer parlance as a " jack-knife claim," by cutting his name in the bark of trees. 
The claim was on the north bank of the river, bounded on the east and south 
by the river; on the west by Elkhorn creek, and on the north by a line from the 
river running due west to Elkhorn creek, about where the track of the Chicago 
& Northwestern Railroad is now situated. It had a southern exposure, and was 
interspersed with groves of shell-bark hickories, without undergrowth, and cov- 
ered with luxuriant prairie grass. Mr. Hopkins often spoke of the location as 
being as " beautiful as the Garden of Eden." He was then as rich in land as 
Alexander Selkirk, being monarch of all he could see, yet with only the shadow 


of a title. In 1835 he returned with his family and Mr. Brittell, and surveyed 
the claim, establishing the boundaries by marking trees in the timber and run- 
ning furrows through the prairie with an ox-team and prairie plow. He after- 
wards purchased the claim. It comprised sections 25, 26, 35, and 3G, and as 
much adjoining as made 3,200 acres, a portion being on the south side of the 

The first settlement at the timber land now known as Round Grove was 
made by William Pilgrim, Clement C. Nance, and Joseph Jones, in the summer 
of 1836. Their wives were sisters. All were from Indiana, and, to distinguish 
them from other settlers, they were called Tloosiers. Pilgrim and Jones, after a 
few years, went back to Indiana, and ^ance moved to Genesee Grove. Being 
of the Campbellite or Christian persuasion, he occasionally preached the Gos- 
pel, and became a physician when past middle age, practicing his profession 
until his death, which occurred suddenly five or six years ago of heart disease. 
These families were not possessed of much of this world's goods. Moccasins 
were worn instead of boots and shoes, and the children were fortunate if they 
obtained any covering for their feet, even in the winter. Still they we're tough 
and healthy. Many now living can attest the sanitary influence of pioneer life 
as being peculiarly adapted to physical development. William Eeebe came in 
1837, made a claim and remained a few years, and then departed for some other 
country. In 1838 the Thompson brothers came, but, like Mr. Beebe, left after 
a few years' residence, and did not return. 

From the time the first settlements were made in the townships until the 
(government land sales took place, some six or seven years elapsed, thus giving 
the settlers suflficient time to make the money from the products of their acres 
with which to purchase their lands. As a measure of relief, also, the lands 
were not taxable until they had been entered five years. The land sales took 
place in June, 1842. 

in December, 1838, H. H. Perkins and family, from New Hampshire, and 
Simeon Sampson and family, from Massachusetts, came . to Como, followed in 
September, 1839, by H. B. and William Sampson and families, also from Mas- 
sachusetts. W. S. Wilkinson, a native of New York State, came in October, 

1839, from Jacksonville, Illinois. S. P. Breed and family and J. N. Dow came 
in the spring of 1839 from Alton, Illinois. J. M. Burr came in the autumn of 

1840, from Boston, and purchased Soulc's share of the claim; and William 
Pollock and family arrived in the spring of 1841 from Beardstown, Illinois. 
Mrs. Susan Cushing and sons, of Providence, Ilhode Island, belonged to the 
colojiy at Delevan, Tazewell county, Illinois, but, desiring to change, joined the 
Como colony early in the spring of 1839, and settled on the south side of the 
river. Their house had been framed and fitted in Ilhode Island, shipped to 
Delevan, Illinois, and put up, but was taken down and reshippcd to Como, 
where it was again put up and occupied as a part of their dwelling as long as 
the family lived there, and is yet in use. Mrs. Cushing died at South Man- 
chester, Connecticut. S. B. Cushing died in Providence, Ilhode Island, in 
1873. William and Henry B. Sampson were brothers. Capt. Simeon Sampson 
married William Sampson's daughter. They were natives of Duxbury, near 
Plymouth, Massachusetts. Capt. Sampson followed the sea until he came 
West. He was every inch a commander; inflexible in discipline, yet, when 
called upon or prompted by duty to alleviate the distress and suifcrings of oth- 
ers, was as tender and sympathizing as the Good Samaritan. The sick and 
wounded of the 75th Illinois Volunteers, after the battle of Perryville, in Ken- 
tucky, had ample proof of that noble trait in his character. He returned to 
his native State a few years ago, and is now living in East Boston. Frank Ad- 


ams came to Como in 1836, and assisted Jason Hopkins in holding his large 
claim. He was a genial, fun-loving, kind-hearted gentleman. His death oc- 
curred many years ago. Gcrshom H. Kirby settled in Como in 1839, and 
worked at his trade as a carpenter. He emigrated to California several years 
ago, where he has since resided. Ira Silliman settled in Como at an early day, 
and remained there until his death in the winter of 1872-'73. The Sells 
brothers emigrated from Ohio in 1836. Anthony settled west of the Elkhorn 
creek, and afterwards sold his claim to Elijah Wallace for $1,500 cash. He 
then went further West and died. Benjamin sold his claim to John Calt, and 
then settled in Rock Island county, where he died a number of years ago. 
Jacob was offered $2,000 for his claim by the father of Pilijah and Hugh Wal- 
lace, but refused it, and, after building a frame house and making other im- 
provements, sold the whole to Edward Vernon and Frank Adams for $600. He 
afterwards settled on Green river, in Bureau county, where he laid out a village 
called Tailholt, and still lives there keeping a country tavern. 

Messrs. Brink andCushman commenced building the saw-mill near Empire, 
known as Brink's mill, in 1837, and finished it in 1838. Cushman lived at 
Buffalo Grove, in Ogle county, and after the mill was built sold his interest to 
Brink. A saw-mill was built by Elijah Wallace in the summer of 1838, on 
Spi'ing creek, just west of the present village of Empire, and near where the 
school-house now stands. Messrs. Badger and son, of Lee county, were the 
millwrights, and kept bachelor's hall during the time of its erection in the Sells' 
cal)in. The next saw-mill in the township was put iip by Joel Harvey on Deer 
creek, in Bound Grove, in 1839. Mr. Harvey built a high dam on the stream, 
and thereby received a supply of water sufficient to run the mill three or four 
months each spring and summer. The mill was afterwards run by Hiram Har- 
mon, and still later by Whiting R. Van Orman. 

The first school taught in the township was at Round Grove, in 1840, Miss 
Higley being the teacher. The first school-house was built at Como in 1842, 
the funds for the purpose being raised by subscription among the inhabitants. 
Now there are six good school-houses in the township, those at Como, Gait and 
ICmpire being large and commodious structures. 

The first child born in the town was William Tell Hopkins, son of Jason 
Hopkins, the first settler, the birth occurring February 22, 1837. He died 
about 1862. It^is claimed that he was the first male child born in the county. 

The first parties around whom was slipped the matrimonial noose were 
Isaac H. Brittell and Jane Scott, the event occurring in 1840. The example so 
early and wisely set by Mr. and Mrs. Brittell was not lost upon some of the gay 
bachelors and rosy maidens of the township, and on November 10, 1841, Win- 
field S. Wilkinson and Miss Frances E. Sampson, and Frank Gushing and Miss 
Mary J). Breed, called in the Justice and were made happy. This double wed- 
ding was regarded as the great event of the time. Mr. and Mrs. Wilkinson 
• have long been respected residents of Morrison, and Mr. and Mrs. Gushing of 

The earliest traveled road in the township was the Dixon and Rock Island 
stage route, running along the river near the line of the present road. A road 
was surveyed, laid out, and platted by Charles R. Rood, County Surveyor, in 
1839, and viewed and reported by Joel Harvey and Elijah Wallace to the 
County Commissioners' Court on the 1st of November of that year. The road 
led from Wright Murphy's farm on Rock river, now owned by William H. Pat- 
terson, to Brink's mill, now Empire mills, on Elkhorn creek; thence west half 
a mile to the Wallace mill on Spring creek; thence west through Round Grove 
and past Harvey's mill on Deer creek; thence through Union Grove and across 


Eock creek, between iMorrison and Unionville, to the Cattail slougli under the 
bluffs, where it intersected the road from Como to Fulton. The first legally 
laid out road after the township organization was the one running along Rock 
river, formerly the old Dixon and Rock Island stage road. 

In the early days Indians were plenty in Hopkins, as in other townships, 
and like other Indians were given to stealing horses, food, and trinkets. The 
mothers of that day were very careful also of their children, as instances had 
been related of Indians stealing the tender lambs of the household. The moth- 
ers would not stir from their houses, in the absence of the men folks, without 
taking all of the little ones with them, even when going down to the river at 
Como for water. 

Game, such as deer, wild turkey, prairie chickens, etc., was abundant at 
the time the first settlements were made. The prairie and the black wolf were 
also plenty, and very troublesome. These pests were very fond of young pork, 
and when the settler was not present to defend the infant swine, the older and 
more muscular members of the fraternity would rally to their rescue. It is 
related that when Joel Harvey was, at one time in the early days, in search of 
a sow with pigs, he was attracted to a spot by an unusual disturbance, and upon 
arriving there found that a gang of wolves had attempted to get at the pigs. 
To his surprise a lot of hogs had come to the aid of their kindred, and formed a 
complete circle around the pigs, with their faces to the enemy. The wolves 
made repeated charges on the circular line, but were each time successfully re- 
pulsed. The first hogs introduced into Hopkins township was in 1838, by Joel 
Harvey and Thomas Matthews, each obtaining a small one fi'om J.W. McLemore, 
who then lived two miles east of Sterling. 

Of the old settlers of Hopkins township who came in 1835, we can name 
Jason Hopkins and Isaac H. Brittell; in 1836, Frank Adams, James Cleveland, 
James Brady, William Pilgrim, Clement C. Nance, Joseph Jones, Jacob Sells, 
Benjamin Sells, Anthony Sells; in 1837, James I). Bingham, Mrs. Margaret 
Adams and family, Thomas Matthews, William Beebe, Joel Harvey, W. F. Hop- 
kins; in 1838, Horatio Wells, H. H. Perkins, Simeon Sampson, Thompson 
Brothers, Frederick Simonson, Elijah Wallace; in 1839, Henry Briggs 
Sampson, William Sampson, Winfield S. Wilkinson, Jesse Scott, Ger- 
shom H. Kirbv, N. A. Sturtevant, Geo. Sturtevant, E. C. Whitmore, A. C. 
Merrill; in 1840, S. P. Breed, J. M. Dow, J. M. Burr, Mrs. Susan Cushing. 

The first regular meeting of the voters of Hopkins township was held April 
6, 1852. The first officers chosen were Simeon Sampson, Supervisor; Henry B. 
Sampson, Town Clerk; Simeon Sampson, Assessor; Nelson R. Douglass, Col- 
lector; Grant Conklin, Overseer of the Poor; Henry B. Sampson and Walter 
Harmon, Justices of the Peace; Ira Silliman, Wm. Manahan and Fred. Simon- 
son, Commissioners of Highways; Nelson R. Douglass and Porter J. Harmon, 
Constables; Poor Masters, Chas. Holmes, 0. C. Stolp, Fred Simonson. Whole 
number of votes cast, 71. Jesse Scott, Joel Harvey, P. J. Harmon and Josiah 
S. Scott were appointed Overseers of Highways. It was voted that all cat- 
tle, horses, mules, asses, sheep and goats be "free commoners;" a lawful fence 
was defined as one " at least four feet high, the bottom space between the fence 
and mother earth to be not more than twelve inches, all other spaces not more 
than ten inches." To prevent "pound breaking," it was voted that anyone 
breaking a lock thereof should be fined not less than five dollars and pay all 
damages; also that all animals found within the lawful enclosure of any one 
throughout the year shall be impounded, and all animals proved to be unruly shall 
be impounded at all times when found running at large. If it is proved that any 
enclosure intruded upon is not enclosed by a substantial fence, all damages and 


costs shall be paid by the owner or tenant. A tax of $200 was voted to defray 
township expenses. In 1858 "the cattle laws" were continued; $20 appropria- 
ted for the improvement of the sloughs between Round Grove and Como; $40 
appropriated for a Pound in Como, and $24 each for Pounds in Round (J rove 
and Empire; $100 was voted for township purposes, and a tax of 20 cents on 
each $100 of taxable property voted for road purposes. In 1855 $150 was 
voted for township purposes, and $150 for bridge repairs. In 185G township 
expenses voted was $150, and $800 for bridge repairs. In 1857 it was decided 
by vote to issue $2,000 in script bearing 10 per cent, interest, payable in one 
year, to rebuild the bridges at Como and Empire swept away by the floods. In 
1858, by resolution, dogs were taxed. In 1865 it was voted to issue script not 
to exceed $5,000, payable out of the tax of 1865-'6(>, for bridge purposes at 
Como and Empire. In 1865 the citizens of the town subscribed $6,105 to pay 
bounties of volunteers. This was in addition to the large sums paid before by 
the township. Owing to the depredation of horse thieves, in 1866 the citizens 
of Hopkins authorized their Supervisor to use his best influence to induce the 
county to offer a reward of $500 for horse thieves. Hopkins is at more expense 
for bridges than any other township in the county, the bridges over the Elkhorn 
at Empire and Como being a yearly source of expense. The benefit that the 
township of Hopkins derives from these bridges is small in comparison with 
neighboring towns, yet under existing circumstances it is obliged to keep the 
bridges in repair. The township is out of debt, and is in a prosperous condition 

Suj^crvisors: — 1852-54, Simeon Sampson; 1855-56, Geo. Willson; 1857, 
Fred. Simonson; 1858-63, Wash. Loomis; 1864, W. M. Law; 1865-71, Jas. 
Dinsmoor; 1872-73, B. R. Watson; 1874-75, Henry Keefer; 1876, John Buy- 
ers; 1877, S. J. Baird. 

Town Clerks:— 18^2, Henry B. Sampson; 1853-56, H. C. Donaldson; 
1857, Chas. N.Russell; 1858, Joel Burdick; 1859, John Phinney; 1860, Chas. 
Patridge; 1861-^62, T. S. Barrett; 1863-'65, Jas. Fraser; 1866-'69, Daniel June; 
1870-72, Geo. T. Reed; 1873-77, D. Mclntyre. 

Assessors: — 1852, Simeon Sampson; 1853-54, W. S. Wilkinson; 1855, 
Wm. Pollock; 1856, J. C. Mickle; 1857, Wm. Pollock; 1858, Asa Scott; 1859- 
'62, Wm. Piatt; 1863, 0. C. Stolp; 1864, Reuben King; 1865, C. D. Sandford; 
1866-'69, 0. E. Fanning; 1870, Wm. Pratt; 1871-73, 0. E. Fanning; 1874- 
77, R. A. Gait. 

Collectors:— lSb2, N. R. Douglas; 1853-'56, T. M. Burr; 1857, Geo. C. 
Willson; 1858-'59, T. M. Burr; 1860, R. B. Stoddard; 1861-63, J. B. Linds- 
ley; 1864-'65, 0. E. Fanning; 1866, S. C. Harvey; 1867, Ira Silliman; 1868- 
71, G. T. Reed; 1872, Ira Silliman; 1873, L. E. Tuttle; 1874, J. W. Lyttle; 
1875, L. C. Lincoln; 1876, Chas. Tobey; 1877, G. T. Reed. 

Justices of the Peace: — 1852-'55, Henry B. Sampson, Walter Harmon; 
1856-'59, Geo. C. Willson, Walter Harmon; 1860-'63, Geo. C. Willson, Walter 
Harmon; 1864-'67, Geo. C. Willson, R. C. Wharfield; 1868-71, Wm. Crum, 
G. C. Willson; 1872-77, Wm. Crum, R. C. Wharfield. 

Hopkins township contains 20.556 acres of improved land, and 817 acres of 
unimproved. The Assessor's books show the number of horses in 1877 to be 
747; cattle, 2,137; mules and asses, 28; sheep, 1,025; hogs, 3,353; carriages 
and wagons, 347; watches and clocks, 245; sewing and knitting machines, 113; 
pianofortes, 12; melodeons and organs, 22. Total assessed value of all prop- 
erty in 1877, $582,582. Value of railroad property, $44,702. 

The population of Hopkins township in 1870, as shown by the Federal cen- 


sus, was 1,436, of which 1,130 were native born, and 306 foreign born. In 
1860 the population was 1,113. The estimated population in 1877, is 1,600. 


About 1837 the whole claim of Jason Hopkins was sold to Judge Bigelow 
and Peter Menard, of Peoria. Dr. Harding, a son-in-law of Judge Bigelow, 
came up and settled on it. Soon afterwards a colony Avas formed at Tremont, 
Tazewell county, in this State, and a committee consisting of S. B. Gushing, 
William Sampson, A. D. Jones, H. H. Perkins, and F. J. Williams, sent up to 
purchase the claim from Bigelow and Menard. This purchase was effected, 
about sis thousand dollars being paid for the claim, most of which belonged to 
Mr. Hopkins. In July, 1838, the whole claim was surveyed by this committee, 
most of whom were surveyors, the village of Como platted, aud the balance of 
the claim divided-, into farm and timber lots. 

The village of Como was laid out at the southern end of the tract, on the 
river, and comprised nine blocks, making one hundred and forty-two lots. The 
first street running parallel with the river was called Front, and the two next 
Second and Third. At right angles with these, and commencing on the west 
side of the town, were Grove, State, Court, and 'W'Lalnut streets. The ferry 
landing was at the foot of State street. Hopkins, Brittel, Dr. Harding and 
George C. Willson, who were then living on the claim, were each to have a 
share of the village, farm, and timber lots. The lots were put up, and the mem- 
bers bid for choice, which resulted as follows as to farm lots: Lot 1, Jason 
Hopkins; 2, A. D. Jones; 3, M. G. Atwood; 4, Geo. P. Plant; 5, C. Jones and 
N.'S. Seaver; 6, H. H. Perkins; 7, S. P. Breed; 8, John P. Pool; 9, W. S.Wil- 
kinson; 10, F. J. Williams; 11, Richard Soule, Jr.; 12. H. B. Sampson; 13, W. 
Sampson; 14, Simeon Sampson. Lot 15 was afterwards bought by Jesse Scott. 
The following lots were on the south side of the river: 16, L. Bigelow; 17, Al- 
fred Dow; 18, Dr. Harding; 19, B. H. Brittell; 20, G. W. C. Jenks; 21, S. B. 
Cushing; 22, Wm. Pollock; 23, Geo. C. Willson; 24, H. H. Perkins. The 
original agreement was that members were to forfeit the amount they paid in 
case they failed to settle or build a house on their respective lots. About this 
time speculation in western lands collapsed, and the ardor of several of the 
Company cooling down, they returned East, either selling or forfeiting their 
claims. A. D. Jones, F. J. Williams, R. Soule, Jr., J. P. Pool, Geo. P. Plant, 
M. G. Atwood, C. Jones, and N. S. Seaver, never made a permanent settlement. 

The Government land sales took place in 1842, when W. S. Wilkinson, 
Geo. C. Willson, and William Pollock were selected to bid in the lands, the lot 
holders furnishing the money to buy the same at $1.25 per aci-e. After the 
sale these gentlemen conveyed to the owners their several farm and timber lots, 
as follows: Farm lot 1 and timber lot 1 to Jason Hopkins; farm lot 2 and tim- 
ber lot 2, to A. D. Jones; farm lot 3 and timber lot 3, to James N. Dow; farm 
lot 4 and timber lot 4, to Wm. Pollock; farm lot 5 and timber lot 5, to James 
D. Bingham; farm lot and timber lot 6, to H. H. Perkins; farm lot 7 and 
timber lot 7, to S. P. Breed; farm lot 8 and timber lot 8, to James N. Dow; 
farm lot 9 and timber lot 9, to W. S. Wilkinson; farm lot 10 and timber lot 10, 
to Judith Sampson; farm lot 11 and timber lot 11, to James M. Burr; farm lot 
12 and timber lot 12, to Capt. H. B. Sampson; farm lot 13 and timber lot 13, 
to Wm. Sampson; farm lot 14 and timber lot 14, to Simeon Sampson; farm lot 
15 and timber lot 15, to Jesse Scott; timber lot 16 to Dr. L. Harding; part of 
timber lot 18 to James M. Burr; timber lot 19 to John Scott; timber lot 4 to 
J. H. Brittell; timber lot 22 to Wm. I'ollock; part of timber lot 23 to Josiah 
Scott; part of timber lot 23 to Geo. C. Willson; timber lot 28 to Josiah B. 


Harding; house lot 22 to Judith Sampson; part of house lot 25 to Josiah B. 
Harding; part of house lot 25 to G-eo. C. Willson; house lot 26 to Jason Hop- 
kins; house lot 27 to Elizabeth Harding. All the farm lots were very soon im- 
proved by their owners, and as early as the land sales Como was the leading set- 
tlement in Eastern Whiteside, stores, factories, and the largest grist mill being 
built and successfully run. 

The Postoffice at Como was established in 1840, and Dr.._L. Harding ap- 
pointed the first Postmaster. The present Postmaster is A. H. Atherton. The 
grist mill was erected in 1845-'46, by Messrs. Smiths & Weber, at a cost of 
$42,000, and was the first mill of the kind built in the township or county. For 
many years it did an extensive business. The Congregational Church building 
■^asJirected in 1854, and was the first church edifice built in Hopkins. 

Of the early settlers of Como, Mrs. B. S. Sampson was the eldest member 
of the colony. Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Sampson, Mrs. Breed, Mr. Wm. Pollock, 
Mr. and Mrs. Jason Hopkins, AVilliam Tell Hopkins, Dr. and Mrs. Harding, J. 
M. Burr, Mrs. Geo.' C. Willson, Mrs. J. B. Harding, Mrs. Jesse Scott, Mrs. J. 
D. Bingham, and Mrs. Mason, the mother of Mrs. Pollock, all died at that place. 
H. H. Perkins was drowned at the falls of St. Croix, in Wisconsin, in the spring 
of 1850. Mrs. Perkins died at St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1873. S. P. Breed died 
in New Hampshire. William Sampson died in Chicago in 1851, where he had- 
resided for some years; his wife, Caroline Sampson, died at her home in that 
city, September 28, 1877, aged 84 years. 

The original proprietors of Como consisted of six civil engineers and sur- 
veyors, three ship captains, one clergyman, one editor, one printer and editor, 
one physician, one miller, one merchant, three shoe and leather dealers, and two 
farmers. The colonists were mostly natives of New Hampshire and Massa- 
chusetts, and were well educated, moral and hospitable people. 

A bridge was early built across the Elkhorn creek, near the cemetery in 
Com o, on a State road which had been laid out from Peoria to Savanna; but as 
the road was never opened, except for a short part of its length, the bridge was 
moved to the place where it now is on the Lyndon road. A ferry was also 
established in the spring of 1840 across Rock river, which proved a great con- 
venience, as there was none from Dixon to Prophetstown. 

Capt. Henry Sampson opened the first public house in Como, in 1839, and 
after the establishment of the mail route from Dixon to Rock Island in 1840, a post- 
office was established at the place. Frink& Walker, the enterprising stage men, soon 
put a daily line of four horse coaches on this route, and as the horses were changed 
at Capt. Sampson's hotel, and meals taken there, it became quite a noted place 
on the line. Simeon Sampson went to California in 1850, was fortunate in his 
undertakings, and in 1854, came back and opened a store, in which he did an 
extensive business for several years when he retired on account of his health, 
and is now living in Boston, Massachusetts, owning his large farm in Como, and 
a valuable property in Sterling. Stephen P. Breed in 1841 established one of 
the first nurseries in the county, at Como, sowing his own seed, but upon the 
death of his wife in January, 1847, returned to New Hampshire, and after an 
active life died in that State in 1871. He was noted for his honesty, and 
great activity of mind and body. His love of flowers and door yard adornments 
contributed not a little to the taste Como displayed in this regard, at that 

Como was in the zenith of its prosperity in 1845. Charles Holmes and 

Lorenzo Hapgood had opened a store in 1844, and a very large business was 

done by them, and at the mill store of Smiths & Weber, which extended over 

one half of the county, including Sterling itself. There were also one or two 



other stores. The village maintained its ascendency as a trading point until 
_about 1856, when the railroad, now known as the Chicago & Northwestern 
Railroad, was completed. It then began to decline rapidly, and is now without 
a store, and its once splendid mill rotting down. The first stoi'c in the place 
was opened by Alfred and James Dow, in 1840. la 1841 William Pollock 
opened a store, and was followed by William IMerritt. The first schools in 
Como were taught by Miss Maria Sampson, now Mrs. A. E. Merrill, of Sterling, 
and Miss 3Iary D. Breed, now Mrs. Frank Gushing, of Portland, scholars attend- 
ing from a long distance around. 

In 1845 Aaron W. Pitts opened a blacksmith shop, and soon commenced the 
manufacture of the improved plows. Previous to 1844 all the plows in use 
Avere of home make, and generally had rods of iron for mould boards. These 
plows rooted the ground after a fashion, but required constant use of the foot 
or a paddle to make them run at all. In 1844 the first plow that would scour 
was brought from near Springfield, and was called the diamond plow. It con- 
sisted of a piece of steel cut in the shape of a diamond, and then bent to form a 
mould board, and shear, and was polished by grinding. These were rapidly im- 
proved so that by 1846 they came into general use, and for all practical 
purpos es did as good work as is done to-day by the best plows. They were 
■ manufactured extensively at Grand De Tour, and Moline, and were left for sale 
at the country stores, and sold on time at a dollar an inch. Mr. Pitts manufac- 
tured quite largely in Como until about 1849, wheu he left and commenced 
manufacturing in Peru, Illinois. 

In 1847 a new road was laid out from Como through the Sampson farm, 
crossing the river at the Cushing farm, and thence running easterly until it 
struck the Dixon and Prophetstown road at Coloma. This road shortened the 
distance to Dixon and Peoria, and a license for a ferr^- across the ..river was ap- 
plied for, but as the point was only a mile from the Como ferry, it was strongly 
opposed, and the license not granted. A boat was then built by stockholders, 
and run practically free for a year and a half, when upon the election of two new 
County Commissioners, in 1849, a license for the ferry was obtained. An ap- 
peal was at once taken from the order of the County Commissioners' Court to 
the Circuit Court, and Knox & Drury, then prominent lawyers of Rock Island, 
employed by the upper ferry interest, but the appeal failed. It created a good 
deal of feeling at the time. The ferry ran until the opening of the railroad, 
Avhen it was moved to Lyndon. 

There is now nothing left to remind one of the olden times in Como, except 
the extreme beauty of its location, and the cordiality and intelligence of its 
inhabitants. The name of Como was derived from the expanse Qfthe river just 
above the town, whicli is said to resemble Lake Como, in Italy. 

The village of Gait was laid out and platted in January, 1855. by John 
Gait and others. It is on the southwest quarter of section 24, and consists of 
jtwenty blocks. There are now twenty-five dwellings, four business houses, a 
warehouse, cheese factory, elevator, blacksmith shop, and lumber yard, besides 
the depot and other buildings of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company, 
and the large school house, in the upper story of which is the Town Hall. The 
Gait Cheese Manufacturing Company was organized October 22, 1873, with a 
capital stock of $3,100. The main building of the factory is 60 by 30 feet, 
with an addition 16 by 24 feet, and a house over the well 6 by 6 feet. The 
officers of the Company arc, William Pratt, President, and Robert A. Gait, 
Treasurer and General Superintendent. About sixty thousand pounds of cheese 



are, made annually. The population of the village in 1877, is estimated at two 


The village of Empire was laid out and platted July 28, 1855, by Elijah 
Wallace, Gr. S. Eraser, 0. C. Stolp and Wm. M. Sutton. It is located on the 
southwest quarter of section 13. Joel Harvey soon after erected, in addition 
to the saw mill built by Hczekiah Brink, a large grist mill, a factory for card- 
ing, spinning, and dressing wool, and weaving woolen cloth, and also a store in 
which he kept alarge stock of goods; he also built several dwelling houses. The 
village now contains about fifteen dwelling houses, the wollen mill, grist mill, 
JLjUtheran cjtiurch edifice, and a large two story school building. This school 
house was one of the first of the graded school buildings erected in the county, 
and for its construction the people of the district deserve great credit. 


sI^soN Hopkins was a native of Nashville, Tennesse, and was born Decem- 
ber 26, 1786. He remained at Nashville until he w^as middle aged, when he 
came to Illinois and settled at Belleville, and from thence went to Peoria. 
When the Black Hawk war broke out he volunteered in a cavalry regiment, 
was appointed Quarter Master, and served in that capacity during the war. In 
1835 he came to Como, as previously mentioned in thife chapter, where he re- 
mained until his death, August 19, 1853, at the age of sixty-six years. His 
children were William Tell, born February 22, 1837; Helen, born August 1, 1838; 
Francis E., born February 25, 1840, and James P., October 4, 1842. William 
Tell died about 1862. Helen married William Carson, of Henry county, 
Illinois; children, Charles, Bertie, John J. and Hattie. Francis E. married W. 
S. Angell, October 4, 1865; children, William H. H., Carl, and one who died in 
infancy. Mr. Hopkins was a cabinet maker, and worked at his trade until he 
came to Como. Mr. Deyo, in Sterling, has a table made by him over forty years 
ago. He possessed many traits of character peculiar to the citizens of ancient 
Rome in its Republican days — firmness, unwvcring integrity, and patriotism. 
He was an intimate acquaintance and great admirer of Greneral Jackson. He 
was altogether a remarkable man, and admirably fitted for a pioneer. The town- 
_ship of Hopkins was named in his honor. 

Henry Briggs Sampson was born at Duxbury, Massachusetts, July 15, 
1787, and was a descendant of Henry Sampson who came to Plymouth with the 
little band of Puritans in the Mayflower, in 1620. On the 20th of September, 
1812, he married Miss Nancy Turner, at Mai'shfield, Massachusetts, a daughter 
of Col. Wm. Turner, of Scituate, Massachusetts, who was also of Puritan de- 
scent. Mr. Sampson emigrated to Tremont, Illinois, in 1836, and from thereto 
T^omo in 1839, where he died December 31, 1865. Mi's. Sampson was born at 
Scituate, Massachusetts, May 8, 1787, and died at Como, November 8, 1862. 
Their children were : Frances E., born January 8, 1814, who married Winfield 
S. Wilkinson, November 18, 1841; children, Mary C, Alfred E., Henry B., and 
Frank, the latter dying in infancy. Ann B., born March 22, 1817; married 
Henry A. Sumwalt, October 31, 1837; Mr. Sumwalt died in Pike county, Illi- 
nois, about twelve years ago, and Mrs. Sumwalt in Sterling, September 3, 1876. 
Henry R., born September 6, 1819; married Miss Emma Dickinson, September 
28, 1858; one child, Kate P. Julia G., born June 16, 1825; married Charles N. 
Russell, December 25, 1851; children, Annie F., Charles T., and John N., who 
died in infancy. Georgiana S., born February 1, 1829; married Charles P. Mal- 
lett, January 26, 1847; children, Edward, died in infancy, Ellen M., Arthur F., 
died in infancy, and Charles P., Jr. Florence H., born April 2, 1832; married 


Edwin C. Whitman, October 5, 1855; children. Elizabeth M., Marcus, Carrie 
B., Henry B., and Edwin D. Albert S., born October 1, 1834; married Miss 
Lucetta Cook, December 15, 1858; children, Albert H., Mary E., Frank C, and 
Alice T. 

William Sampson was born at Duxbury, Massachusetts, May 21, 1792, and 
came to Como in 1839. In 1815 he married Miss Caroline Sprague. The chil- 
dren of this marriage were : Caroline A., born March 6, 1817; William Henry, 
born June 18, 1819; Maria Louisa, born April 15, 1825; Virginia, born July 15, 
1827; Marietta, born November 5. 1829; Josephine, born May 24, 1832; Fred- 
erick A., born December 19, 1835; Elizabeth J., born August 3, 1838. These 
children were born in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Two children were also born in 
Tremont, Illinois, but died in infancy. Caroline A. married Capt. Simeon Samp- 
son, and resides in East Boston; children, Walter S., Lucy S., and George. 
William Henry married 3Iiss Caroline E. Hopkins, and resides in Chicago, Illi- 
nois; children, J. Clifford, and Charles. Virginia married William Henry Guern- 
sey, and resides in Minnesota; children. Flora, Edward, Josephine, and William. 
Frederick A. married Miss Eliza Farr, and resides in Chicago, Illinois. Maria 
Louisa married x\.mos C. Merrill, and resides in Sterling; children, Charles R., 
died September 5, 1850; Frederick A., Edward E., William H., Cliffords., Clara 
A., and Amos C, Jr. Mr. Sampson died in Chicago, in 1851, and Mrs. Sampson 
in the same city, September 28, 1877, at the age of 83 years. 

Betsy S. Sampson was born at Duxbury, Massachusetts, February j__1768j 
and came to Como with her sons in 1839. She was the oliie&t4ierson in the col- 
ony, and died October 5. 1854. 

HiiRATlQ^^iJiyii^ was born April 10, 1796, at Greenfield, Massachusetts, 
and made his claim at Bound Grove in 1838. He married Miss Sarah Swan, 
who was also a native of Greenfield, Massachusetts, February 6, 1821. Their 
children were : Samuel, born September 24, 1824; Sarah, December 9, 1826; 
Louisa, May 26, 1831; Horatio, February 28, 1834; Charles J., August 3, 1836; 
Caroline, May 26, 1840; Joseph W., August 7, 1843. and two who died in infanc}-. 
Charles J. died September 22, 1872. and Joseph W. in September, 1848. Martha 
married Russell Lockwood, who died in 1863. Samuel married Miss Mary Jen- 
nings. Louisa married William 3IcDearborn, January 23, 1861; children, 
Horatio, Louisa, Arthur, and Edith. Horatio married in December, 1872; chil- 
dren, Clarence. Caroline married Charles Toby, March 10, 1870; children, 
Marshall W., and Grace E. Mr. Wells made most of his journey from Massa- 
chusetts, with his family, to Whiteside county, "prairie schooner' fashion. He 
was one of the few men who engaged, prior to the building of railroads, in the 
transportation of goods from Boston to the interior and western part of Massa- 
chusetts. This was done in wagons drawn by six horses, over the mountains, 
and required as much skill, and presence of mind as are necessary to handle a 
ship in a storm, or a train of cars over a bad railroad. Mr. and Mrs. Wells cele- 
brated their golden wedding a few years ago. Since then Mr. Wells has died. 

Ge orge Higley was born in 1793, and married Miss Phebe Chamberlain 
in 1817. Their children have been : Louisa Ann. George W. — who died at the 
age of sixteen, Alfred Alonzo, Angeline L., Helen M., Martha Jane, George W. 
Jr., and Henry C. Helen M. married A. E. Jennings, February 21, 1849; chil- 
dren, George H., Francis C, William L., Edwin M., and Mary H. 

Frederick Simonson was a native of New York, and born October 13, 
1804. He married Miss Sabrina Harvey, April 25, 1827. The following have 
been their children : James H., born May 2f», 1829; Sally, born May 2,' 1831; 
Louisa F., born March 3, 1833; Frederick, Jr., born in 1835; Sabrina, born July 
25, 1837; Flavel, born August 30, 1840; Mary, born June 24, 1842. Mary died 


October 22, 1843, and Louisa F. November 7, 1868. Sally married Abram Law, 
Jamiary 1, 1850; children, Victor E., Granville, Winnie, Ida May, Elmer, and 
Marion. Flavel married Miss Frances Thomas; James H. married Miss Lavinia 
Sherwin; children, Marcia, Kate, Cora, and two who died in infancy. Freder- 
ick, Jr.. resides at the homestead. Mr. Simonson died June 80, 1869, and was 
buried in the timber just west of where his log cabin still stands. 

Frank Adams was born in 1 812. Married Miss Susan Tencke. Children : 
Jane, Margaret, JRachel, James, Ann, and Francis. Jane married Charles Ingalls; 
children, Hettie. Margaret married John Richardson; children, Perce, Francis, 
A. D., Nettie, Burdell, and Lee. Rachael married John Charter; children, 
James and John. James married Miss Delia Peoples; has two children, and lives 
at Red Oak, Iowa. Francis married William Yeoards; has one child. Ann died 
in infancy. Mr. Adams came to Como in company with Jason Hopkins, and lived 
in a cabin on the bank of the river, near the ferry landing. Mrs. Adams was 
the. first white woman who came to Como, and for a time was the only female 
in the place. They kept a boarding house, the first and only one at 
Como , at which everybody then took meals, and at night all slept on the floor. 
Prominent among these were Jason Hopkins, Brittell, Dr. Harding, Bridge, J. B. 
Harding, and J. D. Bingham. 

J aai^e s D. Bingham was born in the State of Connecticut, April 9, 1810, 
and married Miss Jane Adams, August 11, 1836. The children were : Eliza 
Jane, born June 9, 1838; Susan, born May 19, 1840, and Frank, born March 23, 
1842. Eliza Jane married Daniel Ross; children, Jennie, Jessie, and Nellie. 
Susan married Henry Griffin; no children. Frank married Miss Ella Hopkins; 
children, Dimple, and Frank. Mrs. James D. Bingham died February 26, 1848, 
and on the 4th of October, 1852, Mr. Bingham married his second wife, Mrs. 
Lura A. Chapman, by whom he had one child, Nellie B., born January 9, 1855. 
Mr. Bingham's second wife died in Colorado August 6, 1877. Nellie married 
Clarence E. Smith, in April, 1875. Frank Bingham enlisted, at the commence- 
ment of the late war, in Company H., 75th Illinois Volunteers, and was promoted 
several times for meritorious services. He served out his term of enlistment, 
and was in all the battles and marches of his regiment during the war, and was 
honorably mustered out of the service. He is now living in Colorado, where he 
is keeping a ranch. James D. Bingham is now living in Sterling. 

JIrs. Margaret Adams and family came to Como in 1837, in company 
with James D. Bingham and family. Of her children, Samuel died in Missouri, 
on his return home from Pike's Peak. Eliza died in 1839, and John in 1840. 
Robert married Miss Lydia Niles; children, Josephine, Mary and Retta. 

William Pollock was born June 4, 1802, in Waterford, Erie county, Penn- 
sylvania, and was married to Miss Sarah Mason, a native of Philadelphia, j\Iay 
3, 1832. Their children were Peter V., born October 31, 1835; Mary C, born 
May 23, 1837; James, born August 29, 1839; John W., born October 4, 1841; 
Eliza J., born Mai-ch 16, 1843; Jane V., born December 19, 1844. and Gertrude 
P., born September 30, 1846. Of these, James, Jane V. and Eliza J. died in 
infancy. Mary C. married L. B. Wadleigh, formerly of New Hampshire, No- 
vember 13, 1856; children, William M., Mary A., LeRoy P., Pauline N., and 
Maud C. John W. married Miss Mary M. Smith, May 23, 1870; children, Mary 
C. and Pauline P.; two children died in infancy. Gertrude P. married Samuel 
Patterson, November 1, 1872; one child, Clara M. Peter V. remains at the old 
homestead, and is one of the solid farmers and stock raisers of Whiteside coun- 
ty. Mr. Pollock was Surveyor of the county from 1847 to 1853, and at the 
March term of the Board of Supervisors in 1855, was appointed Drainage Com- 


missioner, and held the position until December, 1858. He also held various 
township offices. 

Jesse Scott was born July 24, 1790, in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, 
and in 1802 came with his parents as far west as Morgan county, Ohio, where he 
lived until March, 1839, when he started for Illinois, by the way of the Ohio 
and Mississippi rivers, in a one hundred ton keel boat, propelled by horse power. 
On this boat he built a cabin 16 by 16 feet in size, and divided into two rooms, 
in which the family lived, and the goods were stored during the journey. Upon 
reaching Kock river he turned his boat into that stream and followed it upwards 
until he reached Como, where he landed June 1, 1839. At that point he made 
a settlement, and has resided there ever since, a space of over thirty-six years. 
On New^ Year's day, 1815, Mr. Scott married Miss Anna Sherman. Their 
children have been: Asa, born January 26, 1817; Jane, born March 5, 1818; 
Josiah,born May 18,1819;David,bornDecember 5, 1820; Hiram B.,born January 
6, 1822; Adrial, born November 30, 1823; Joel S., born September 30, 1825; 
John, born May 26, 1827; Mary E., born June 4, 1829; Maria, born February 14, 
1831; Caroline A., born August 8, 1832; Annis E., born February 22, 1834, 
and Emeline. born January 7, 1842. Of these children, Emeline died May 6, 
1845; Annis E. September 12, 1845; Hiram, June 21, 1850, and Joel S. Novem- 
ber 8, 1855. Asa married Miss Elizabeth Taylor. The names of their children 
are given in the biographical sketch of Mr. Scott which will be found in the 
history of Montmorency township. Jane married Isaac H. Brittell; children, 
Almona, Charlotte, Orange, and Claudius. Josiah married Miss Harriet J.Coryell; 
the biographical sketch of Mr. Josiah Scott, giving names of children, will be 
found m the history of Hume township. David married Miss Louisa Stone; 
children, Eoline, Grertrude, Luther, Winfield, Theodore, Otho, Devrose,and Willie. 
Adrial married Miss Mary Sloan; children, Orson, Joel — who died in infancy, 
Willie, Eddy and Ida. Joel S. married Miss Polly Stillian, by whom he had 
one child, Esther; Mrs. Scott died, and Mr. Scott married a second wife, the 
children by this marriage being John, Marion, Jane, Shereer, Alice, Annis, Amy, 
Oscar, and Addison and Eliza — twins, the latter dying in infancy. Mary E., 
married Edward Scott; children, Clifford, Eunice, Hershel, Frederick, Eva, 
Albert, and Jessie; Frederick died at the age of fifteen. Maria married Lewis 
A. Davis; children, Edgar, Evamalia, Jane, Lizzie, and Bertha. Lizzie died in 
infancy. Caroline married Alphonso Brooks; children, Augusta, Romanzo, and 
Elthier. Mr. Scott is now eighty-seven years of age, and in many respects has 
lived an eventful life. His fund of anecdotes and reminiscences of pioneer life 
is inexhaustible, and their relation in his peculiar manner highly interesting. 
Mr. Scott made trading trips with his boat for several years after he came to 
Como. The boat, with its motive power, was a curiosity, and caused uniA'ersal 
surprise wherever it made its appearance. He is probably the only man who 
ever did, or ever will, succeed in propelling a heavy boat against the strong cur- 
rent of the Mississippi river, by horse power; Mrs. Scott died in Como in 1876. 

Joel Harvey was a native of New York State, and was born February 
20, 1812. .On the 24th of April, 1834, he married Miss Rachel Cole, also a 
native of the Empire State. Their children have been: Samuel C, born Feb- 
ruary 10, 1836; Elizabeth A., born March 4, 1839; Phoebe A., born January 
26, 1842; MaryE., born November 5, 1847; Martha, born January 27, 1850; 
Julia A., born January 1, 1853; and Alice R., born January 13, 1857. Eliza- 
beth A. died April 27, 1844, and Julia A. December 16, 1853. Samuel C. mar- 
ried Miss Margaret A. Dickey in December, 1865; children, Mary A., Samuel 
J., Harvey, and three boys who died in infancy. Samuel C. Harvey enlisted in 
Company B, 13th regiment Illinois volunteers, and was appointed Second Ser- 


geant in his company. He carried a gun all through the service, and never 
failed to fall into line at roll-call or at the tap of the drum, participating in all 
the battles and marches in which his regiment took a part. As one of the 
brave and faithful soldiers in the Union army from Whiteside county, Samuel 
C. Harvey deserves due commendation. Phoebe A. married G. G. Keefer; chil- 
dren, Clara R., Jennie, and Henry. Mary E. married Abram Waldron; chil- 
dren, Joel and Albert. jMartha married John F. Strock; children, Edith, who 
died in infancy, and Willoughby C. Alice R. married Edgar Gait, June 7, 
1877. Mr. Harvey learned the wagonmaker's trade in his native State, and 
followed it more or less after his arrival in Whiteside county. When he came 
to Round Grove he bought the claim of Caleb Plummer, paying $1,500 for it, 
and lived in the log cabin built by Plummer. When he first came to Hlinois 
he settled near Ottawa, but the next spring came to this county, making all of 
his way from New York State to Whiteside by wagon and horses. The season 
he arrived here was very wet, compelling him to go around by the way of Elk- 
horn Grove in order to cross the Elkhorn creek, there being no bridge south of 
that point. The roads were very few, and all the small streams and the sloughs 
almost impassable. To be mired two or three times a day was no unusual 
occurrence. After Mr. Harvey had settled at Round Grove and built his saw- 
mill there, John Wentworth, who had received the appointment of Mail Agent 
jinder the administration of Gen. Jackson, called upon him with a view of es- 
tablishing a mail route from Sterling to Fulton. Both of the gentlemen took 
a seat upon a log by. the mill, and it was there arranged to establish the route, 
Mr. Wentworth agreeing that Mr. Harvey should be appointed Postmaster at 
Round Grove, upon condition that he would make a road, and bridge the sloughs 
from Sterling to Round Grove. Mr. Harvey agreed to the proposition, and, 
completing his part of the agreement, received the appointment as Postmaster. 
He not only kept the postoffice, but sufficient accommodation for both man and 
beast. The mail was carried from Dixon to Fulton in a two-horse wagon, by 
A. L. Porter, afterwards for many years Sheriff of Lee county. Mr. Harvey 
gave up the postoffice in 1841. and moved to Sterling. It was then abolished. 
3Ir. Harvey was one of those energetic, persevering, vigorous, and irrepressible 
men whom no opposition or difficulty can dishearten. On the contrary, the 
more difficulties and embarrassments they have to encounter, the more they are 
determined to surmount them. Mr. Harvey has done more in opening up farms, 
laying out roads, building mills, stores, and factories, and lumbering in the 
pineries, than any other man in Whiteside county. His last great work was the 
digging of the artesian well in Sterling. He died in Sterling, September 3, 1875. 

Elijah Wallace came from Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, in the 
.spring of 1838, and bought the claim of Anthony Sells, near Empire. He went 
back in the autumn of the same year, and brought on his family, coming from 
Cumberland county with carriage and horses to Pittsburgh, and thence by water 
by the way of the Ohio, Mississippi, and Illinois rivers, to Beardstown, Illinois, 
when cold weather setting in, he came across the country in the carriage one 
hundred and fifty miles to Sterling, crossing Rock river on the ice,. November 
10, 1838. Mr. Moore, and his daughter Rebecca, now Mrs. George H. Wells, 
came with them. Mr. Moore died the next summer with intermittent fever, a 
disease peculiar to the climate at that time. Mr. Wallace was a farmer, and had 
a thorough business education. He improved a large farm, and planted upon it 
one of the finest orchards in the county. He died a number of years ago at the 
old homestead. 

Samuel Higley came from New York State, and after a residence of 


twenty years went farther West, and died. He was noted for being six and a 
half feet high, and very slender. 

Thomas Matthews settled at Round Grove in 1837. He is a Scotchman, 
highly esteemed, still lives upon the farm first purchased by him, and by his industry 
and thrift has made himself decidedly comfortable in this world's goods. He 
possesses that inflexibility of character so peculiar to the Scotch. 

Capt. James M. Burr was born in Boston, Massachusetts, December 21, 
1808, and married Miss Caroline H. Neal, August 22, 1840. Mrs. Burr was 
born in New Hampshire, December 19, 1819. The following have been their 
children: James M., Jr., born August 16, 1841, and died in infancy; 
Adeline E., born February, 26, 1843; Eunice F., born March 5, 1845; Hettie, 
born September 1, 1847; Charles M., June 15, 1850; Ellery S., born June 18, 
1854, and William T., born January 4, 1860. Eunice F. married Charles N. 
Munson in May, 1869; children, William R., John J., and Carrie M. Mrs. Mun- 
son died in Sterling, July 22, 1877. Hattie married Charles Heitshee. October 
15, 1869. Mr. and3Irs. Heitshee have one child, Frank R. Charles M. Burr 
married Miss Mary C. Boals, December 16, 1876. The other children reside 
with their parents in Como. 

H. B. Freeman was born in Oneida county. New York, July 10, 1810, and 
in December, 1839, married Miss Z. Summers. The children of this marriage 
have been: Orpha, born November 17, 1840; Maria, born October 1, 1842; Am- 
arilla, born February, 1844; Augustus, born October, 1848; Alice, born October 
2, 1850, and Willis, born March 28, 1852. Amarilla, Augustus, and Alice, 
died in infancy. Orpha married Robert H. Carr; they had one child, Robert; 
Mr. Carr enlisted in Henshaw's Battery, in 1862, and was a Lieutenant; he died 
at Ottawa, Illinois, January 23, 1863, before the Battery was ordered to the 
front; Mrs. Carr married James E. Summers, June 4, 1877. Willis married 
Miss Ada Allen, December 6, 1873; they have one child, born February 29, 
1875. William E. Boardman came West with Mr. Freeman, and married Miss 
Ellen Besse. He died soon after his marriage. 


History of Jordan Township — Biographical. 

History of Jordan Township. 

Jordan is the northeastern township of Whiteside county, and marked in 
• the Government survey as township 22 north, range 7 east of the 4th principal 
meridian. The township is square, containing thirty-six sections of land. The 
soil is generally of great fertility, and except along the courses of the BuflFalo, 
Elkhorn, Sugar, and other ci'eeks, is undulating prairie, and under a high state 
of cultivation. The streams are usually fringed with growths of forest trees, 
and present numbers of valuable mill sites. Inexhaustible stone quarries are 
found in Jordan, which are more fully mentioned in the chapter upon geol- 
ogy. Previous to township organization Joi'dan was apart of Elkhorn Precinct. 
After township organization was adopted, the Board of Commissioners appoint- 
ed for the purpose defined the boundaries of the township, and denominated it 
as Jordan. 

The first settlement was made on sections 33 and 34, on the 10th day of 
April, 1835, by S. Miles Coe. Immediately upon his arrival he built a log cabin, 
broke 20 acres of prairie, sowed oats, and planted corn and vegetables. Soon 
after the arrival of Mr. Coe, James Talbot came, erected a cabin, broke prairie 
and put in a crop of sod corn, potatoes, and garden vegetables. At this time 
game, such as deer, wild hogs, wolves, bears, raccoons, otter, muskrats, and wild 
fowls, was abundant. BuflFalo were seen occasionally. Joseph M. Wilson and 
family came next, and settled July 3, 1835. A large number of settlers ar- 
rived in 1836, among them Albert S. Coe, Vernon Sanford, James Deyo, Gar- 
rett Deyo, Jacob Deyo, and Howard Deyo. In 1837, the memorable " panic 
year," there were more arrivals, — Becker Miller, James Wood, Harry Burlin- 
game, and Captain Manoah Hubbard, who settled at a grove still known as -'Hub- 
bard's Grove." In 1838 Simeon M. Coe and family arrived and made their 
claims at a grove which still bears the name of "Coe's Grove." Mr. Coe built 
his cabin at a spring in the grove, and at once erected a saw mill, by which he 
sawed up the surrounding timber in sufficient quantities to supply the settlers 
for purposes of building and fencing. The same year John Brookie, a Mr. 
Bush, Henry Bolton and family, a Mr. Goodchild, John, Thomas and Caleb 
Plummer, came into the settlement. The year 1839 witnessed quite an influx 
of settlers; Jabez Gilbert and family, Geo. Stull, Benj. Davis, Horace B. Mack, 
Theo. R. Mack, Chas. H. Miles, and others, came this year. Chas. S. Lunt settled 
on the site of Dr. Pennington's property about this time, but after a short stay 
removed to Fulton. 

Henry Bolton broke the first prairie on the west side of the Elkhorn creek 
and built a cabin, but it was burnt, either by accident or design, and he made 
another claim on the east side of the creek, and built a cabin on a stream then 
called Dote river. A Mr. Knight jumped his claim and built also a cabin, but 
before Knight had time to occupy it Mrs. Bolton concluded it was a nuisance 
and abated it. She arose in the night and alone, harnessed her father's horse, 
and taking with her a log chain threw down Knight's cabin by hitching the 


horse to each log, and not only pulled the cabin down, but at the same time 
hauled the logs and dumped them into Dote river, and returned to her home 
before the morning came. 

The first marriage in Jordan was that of Simon Fellows — then a resident 
of what is now Palmyra, Lee county, now a respected citizen of Round Grrove, 
Mt. Pleasant township, in this county — to Miss Elizabeth Deyo, the marriage 
taking place July 10, 1836, in a log cabin without any floor, situated in the 
northeastern part of Jordan township. 

One of the greatest necessaries of the new country was mills for grinding 
the grain, and when Joseph M. Wilson settled in Jordan his first movement 
was to erect a mill. His log mill was built and in running order in May, 1836. 
It was the only mill then in the county, and the people within a circuit of forty 
miles brought their grain to it to be ground. At first the grain was ground in 
the open air, and when the rain fell the grain was emptied from the hopper, 
which was inverted over the stone, and a large chip placed over the hopper vent. 
Under all these disadvantages good flour was made, and even to this day the old 
settlers speak enthusiastically of the good flour ground by Uncle Joseph Wil- 
son at the old log mill. A large frame mill has taken the place of the log 
structure, which is now managed by James. S. Wilson. 

In 1836 a town was laid out in Jordan township by Col. S. M. Bowman, 
and known as " Burwick." Some ten houses were built in the town. "Bur- 
wick" was laid out and built upon Government lands, and the pla.t never record- 
ed. By the time the land was entered, Burwick, like hundreds of other western 
towns and cities, was a thing of the past. Col. S. M. Bowman, who was a part- 
ner in the mill at the start, bought out Mr. Wilson's interest after a year or two, 
and run the mill alone for one or two years. During this time Mr. Wilson had 
a store and sold goods in Burwick. 

One of the early enterprises in Jordan was the erection, in 1839, of a card- 
ing machine, which was located on Sugar creek. Mr. Thomas Plummer was 
the builder, and Mr. Samuel Emmons managed the machine for several years. 
It was the only one in a large territory and the farmers came from great dis- 
tances to have their wool carded. Mr. Plummer lived in a 10 by 12 house, and 
there being none other upon the prairie, the accommodations for the customers 
were necessarily limited, therefore many of them camped out while waiting for 
their wool to be carded. Near the carding machine a frame was erected for a 
grist mill, but never finished. Mr. Plummer also built a saw mill, which after 
being run a short time was abandoned for want of water. 

The following is a list of the pioneer settlers of Jordan, as near as wc can 

1835— S. M. Coe, James Talbot, Joseph M. Wilson; 1836— Albert S. Coc, 
James Deyo, Garrett Deyo, Jacob Deyo, Hiram Deyo, A^ernon Sanford; 1837 — 
Becker Miller, Manoah Hubbard, Harvey Burlingame, James Wood; 1838 — 

John Brooks, Bush, Simeon M. Coe and family, Henry Bolton, Henry 

Goodchild, John Town, Caleb Plummer; 1839— Horace K. Mack, Thco. R. Mack, 
Charles H. Miles, Jabez Gilbert, Benjamin Davis, George Stull. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan was organized November 4, 
1871. The church edifice was erected at a cost of $2,b00. The house and 
cemetery occupy one and a half acres of land. The first Elders were Wm. 
Jacobs and Daniel Wolf. The Deacons— Godfrey Mentz and George Sheer. 
John Stoll was elected Pastor in 1871 and still continues in that office. There 
is a Sunday School in connection with the church conducted by the Pastor as 
Superintendent, and six teachers. About fifty pupils are in attendance. The 
German and English languages are used in the Sunday School. The church 


services are held in the German language. The entire membership is about 150. 

The first meeting of the citizens of Jordan as a township was held at the 
house of Isaiah C. Worrell. It was then voted that stock should run at large 
under liability to impounding. It was voted that board fences should be four 
feet and one inch in height, and no space between boards to exceed six inches, 
rail fences to be four feet three inches in height. Liberal bounties were voted 
to soldiers during the war. The township was divided into school districts in 
1852, and a school house built in 1853 in Coe's district. There are now eight 
school districts in the township, with a fine school house in each district. 

Supervisors:— 1852, James Talbot; 1853-'54, S. M. Coe; 1855-'56 J. F. 
Coe; 1857, James Talbot; 1858, J. F. Coe; 1859-'60, S. M. Coe; 1861, D. N. 
Foster; 18G2, James Talbot; 1863, J. F. Coe; 1864-65, Becker Miller; 1866, 
James Talbot; 1867-76, Lot S. Pennington; 1877, Chalkley John. 

Toivn Clerks:— 1852-54, James Woods; 1855, 1. C. Worrell; 1856, James 
R. Park; 1857, Abram Detweiler; 1858, James Woods; 1859-'62, Charles 
Diller; 1863, Martin Bare; 1864, Henry G. Brown; 1865, Martin Bare; 1866, 
Mark Compton; 1867, A. C. John; 1868-69, J. Y. Westervelt; 1870-74, Elida 
John; 1875-77, George D. John. 

Assessors: — 1852-'53, Lemuel Sweeney; 1854, L. S. Pennington; 1855, 
James Talbot; 1856, L C.Worrell; 1857, E. D Smith; 1858, Becker Miller; 
1859-63, C. C. Alexander; 1864, Vernon Sanford; 1865, D. N. Foster; 1866-67, 

C. C. Alexander; 1868-73, Osmer Williams; 1874-76, Charles Diller; 1877, 
Thomas Diller. 

Collectors:— 1852-bS, M. H. Snavely; 1854, J. H. Snavely; 1855, J. A. 
Morgan; 1856, J. H. Snavely; 1857-'59. Charles C. Rippley; 1860, Eli Eshle- 
man; 1861-'63, Lorenzo Holly; 1864, Mark Compton; 1865, D. N. Foster; 1866, 
J. P. Furry; 1867, Edwin Wolcot; 1868-'69, Oliver Talbot; 1870-71, W. S. 
Stocking; 1872-73, George D. John; 1874-,75, Jos. Pfunstine; 1876-77, E. H. 

Justices of the Peace.-— 1852, Charles Diller, S. M. Coe; 1856, Charles C. 
Rippley, James Woods; 1857, Lot S. Pennington, Becker Miller; 1859, 0. 
Williams; 1860, L. S. Pennington, 0. Williams; 1864, L. S. Pennington, 0. 
Williams; 1865, I. D. Smith; 1868, D. N. Foster, 0. Williams; 1872, 0. Wil- 
liams, D. N. Foster; 1873, D. N. Foster, 0. Williams; 1877, L. S. Pennington, 

D. N. Foster. 

According to the Assessors' books for 1877, Jordan contains 21,856 acres 
of improved land, and 1,140 unimproved; 828 horses; 2,148 cattle; 7 mules and 
asses; 100 sheep; 3,544 hogs; 339 carriages and wagons; 100 sewing and knitting 
machines; 28 pianos, organs and melodeons; assessed value of personal property 
and lands, $523,998. 

The census returns for 1870 places the population of Jordan at 1,196, of 
which 904 were of native birth and 292 foreign. In 1877 the estimated popula- 
tion of the township is 1,400. In November 1876 the township polled 182 


Garrett F. Deyo settled in Jordan in March, 1836. He died August 18, 
1859, and his wife in 1860. His family consisted of thirteen children: Mary 
Ann, born March 7, 1810; John G., January 16, 1812; Bridget, March 14, 1814; 
Elizabeth, March 12, 1816; Cyresia, December 29, 1819; Jacob, February 24, 
1821; Sarah Jane, April 18, 1823; Hiram, February 28, 1825; Sanford, February 
24, 1827; James K, May 24, 1829; Ellen, March 7, 1831; Benjamin, June 9, 
1833; Moses J., March 25, 1835. Mary Ann, Bridget, Cyresia and Sarah Jane 


are dead. Of the seven brothers all except Benjamin reside in Whiteside 
county; he is living in Ogle county. John G-. was married November 12, 1836, 
to Elizabeth A. Mackey; children, Langston, LeFevre. Rebecca Jane, Mary Ann, 
John J.. Homer, Bridget, Elmira and James M.; three children died in infancy. 
Bridget married Harrison Sanford January 12, 1835; children, Madison, John, 
Elnora. Juliet, Rosella, Sarah, Adeline, Miranda E., Delila, William B., Newton 
H., Ida M., and Frank; John, Juliet, Newton and Ida are dead. Elizabeth 
married Simon Fellows, who resides at Round Grove, July 10, 1836; nine children. 
Jacob married Mary Campbell November 3, 1852; no children. Sarah Jane 
married Isaiah Rucker; she died leaving the following children: Rebecca, 
Jane, Ellen, James, Harriet, William, Nora, Hiram and Clara. Hiram 
was married October 3, 1850; children, Arthur, Hiram, Clara, Garrett, 
Robert, and Edward and Edwin, twins; four of the children are dead. Sanford 
married Barbara E. Warner November 5, 1857; six children. Jas. R. married 
Elizabeth Roberts September 4,' 1851; two children. Ellen married Samuel Wolf, 
and resides in Iowa. Benjamin is married and resides in Ogle county, Illinois. 
Moses J. married Susanna Hickler, who died March 27, 1872; he was married to 
Mary Mulnax October 23. 1873; six children. 

Horace Mack was born October 17, 1809, at L3'me, Conn. When an 
infant was removed to Pennsylvania and grew to manhood in Susquehanna county, 
in that State. He was married February 26, 1835, to Mary Miles. In 1839, 
with his wife and eldest children, he removed to the west and arrived at his 
claim near the Big Mound northwest of Sugar Grove in August. After resid- 
ing there about one year he changed his residence, and lived in a cabin one or 
two years near where Dr. L. S. Pennington now resides. After "the lands came 
into market," Mr. Mack entei-ed land upon the Elkhorn, at a point called "Mack's 
Ford," with the view of erecting a mill. In connection with his brother-in-law, 
the building of a dam was commenced, but abandoned as the business of the 
county was not great enough to warrant the completion of the enterprise. He 
built a house and made other improvements upon his property which he disposed 
of in 1847, and with his family removed to Sterling where he pursued his trade as 
carpenter until his death, which was caused by a disease locally known as "bil- 
ious pneumonia" which prevailed at that time in epidemic form. Mr. Mack was 
an upright man and enjoyed the esteem and confidence of all who knew him. 
Mrs. Mack married Hezekiah Windom, May 15, 1860. Mr. W., died in 1864. 
His widow remained in Sterling until 1874, since which time she has resided in 
Wisconsin with her children, Charles and Mary. Mr. Mack was the father of 
Theo. H.. born October 5, 1836; Chas. M., born January 29, 1839; Arthur L., 
born August 17, 1841, and Mary E., born October 22, 1848. Arthur died Jan- 
uary 27, 1851. Mary E. married O. A. Bryant, of AVisconsin, where she now 

Ja.mes Talbot was born in Westmoreland county. Pa., August 28, 1801, 
and settled in Jordan township early in 1835, where he still resides. While in 
Pennsylvania he was engaged as a millwright, carpenter, and joiner. In the 
summer of 1833 he started for the west in a flat-boat, passing down the Yough- 
eogeny to Pittsburg, thence by steamer down the Ohio and up the Mississippi 
and Illinois rivers to Peoria. He arrived at the latter town in 1834, and re- 
mained there until his removal to his present home, the journey by land being 
made in an ox-wagon drawn by three yoke of cattle. After his settlement in 
the west Mr. Talbot became a farmer, which occupation he successfully pursued 
many years. He was married to Sarah Woods, of Westmoreland county. Pa., 
May 29, 1828. Children, John W., born October 21, 1829; Mary Jane, born 
November 15, 1831; Oliver, born December 18, 1833; Hannah A., born March 


26, 1836; Sarah, born July 8, 1838; Martha, born February 10, 1840; Annetta, 
born May 21, 1842; James, born December 25, 1844; Samuel, born May 26. 
1848; Amelia H., born July 18, 1851. Of the children Mary Jane and Sarah 
died in childhood. 

Simeon M. Coe was born October 29, 1784, in the State of Connecticut, at 
Litchfield. In early life he removed with his father to New York. The mode 
of conveyance in that early time was with a "spike team" — a yoke of oxen at 
the wheel and a horse ahead driven by a whip alone. Mr. Coe settled in Jordan 
in 1835, and died May 18, 1848. He married Mary Miles, September 1, 1807, 
in Oneida county. New York. Mrs. Coe died in October, 1857. Children : 
Lucy Mary, born June 22, 1808; S. Miles, born March 12, 1810; George Alonzo, 
born August 16, 1811; Frederick W., born January 25, 1813; Henry A., born 
October 4, 1814; Joshua, born March 10, 1816; Albert S., born October 1,1817; 
Jonathan F., born'June 22,1819; Decius 0., born November 23, 1820; Adeline 
E., born December 6, 1822; Marcus L., born August 14, 1824; Helen Ann, born 
July 29, 1826; Mortimer S., born September 21, 1832. 

Lucy Mary Coe married Geo. Stull. Children : Maltby C, born Novem- 
ber 15, 1831; Lavona A., born February 25, 1834; Eugene S., born December 
1, 1836; Mary L., born February 24, 1839; Geo. F., born February 27, 1841; 
Adeline A., born May 31, 1843; Mary E., born January 7, 1847. Mary L. died 
December 10, 1839, Mary E. in 1847, and Lavona A. April 12, 1849. Maltby 
C. married Mary J. Smith. Eugene married Mary Thompson; children, Irvino-, 
Lucy and Josephine. Geo. F. married Harriet Bronson; children, Lavona and 
Homer; Mrs. Stull died, and in 1874 Mr. Stull was married to Susan Potts; 
they have one child. Adeline A. married H. S. Blair; children, Inez, Jessie and 

^S. Miles Coe was born in Paris, Oneida county, N. Y., March 12, 1810. 
When a child he was removed to Monroe county, where he remained until 1835 
when he emigrated westward and settled in Jordan township April 10 of that 
^ear. He has resided upon his original farm until the present time — forty- two 
years. Mr. Coe married Harriet Hull, of Buffalo Grove, Ogle county. Mrs. 
Coe died in 1842. In 1847 Mr. Coe married May D. Walling. Children : 
Henry M., born June 21, 1848; Isaac N., born December 9, 1852; Levi W. 
born September 21, 1855; Jesse F., born January 9, 1857; Aurora B., born 
April 8, 1860; Simeon M., born August 7, 1863; Frederick AY., born July 19, 
1866; Mary R., born March 11, 1869. The third child died in infancy. Mrs! 
Mary D. Coe was born March 27, 1824, in Barrington, N. Y. Mr. Coe is one 
of Whiteside's best citizens, and has been prominent and energetic in all efforts 
to advance the interests of the county and township in which he resides. 

George A. Coe settled in Michigan, and was twice married. He has four 
children — Jennie, George, Mary, and ^Y. H. Seward Coe. Mr. Coe was a mem- 
ber of the Michigan Legislature, and at one session was the only Whig in the 
body, all the other members being Democrats. 

Frederick W. Coe was married June 29, 1836, to Phebe Ann Rog- 
ers, of Canada. Mr. Coe died of apoplexy, October 23, 1870. His widow 
resides in Lee county, Illinois. 

Henry A. Coe married Alamina Moore. Children : Blanche A., Aurora, 
Clinton D., Jerome F., and May. Mr. Coe died July 5, 1858. Mrs. Coe died 

Albert S. Coe married Arathusie Barnet. Children : George B. and 
Florence. After the death of his wife, Mr. Coe was married to Lucy C. Hollis- 
ter, of Port Byron, February 27, 1856. After a residence of a number of 
years in Whiteside county, Mr. Coe removed to Rock Island county and eno-ao-ed 


in farming and the nursery business. Upon the organization of the township 
in which 3Ir. Coe settled it was named " Coe." The gentleman occupied a 
number of important offices. His death occurred October 17, 1869. 

Jonathan F. Coe married Eliza E. Clark, November 10, 1843. Four 
children were born, of whom all, with the exception of Franklin A., died in in- 
fancy. Mrs. Coe"s death was caused, in 1860, by hydrophobia. Mr. Coe 
was afterwards married to Sarah Murray. Children : Clarence C, Arthur E., 
Willie A., Lysle J. Franklin A. Coe is now dead. 

Davis 0. Coe married Eveline N. Stevens, November 8, 1844. Children: 
LaFayette, Augustus J., Marcus L., Ellen Mary, and Albert Leslie. All are 
dead except Marcus L., who married Julia A. Gait, August 26, 1875. 

Adeline E. Coe married Thomas Stevens December 31, 1846. Children: 
Maltby, born December 20, 1847, and Helen A., born Novenj^ber 3, 1849. Mrs. 
Stevens died October 24, 1850. Thomas Stevens was again married February 
23, 1860, to Mrs. Helen A. Suavely. Children : Fred M., born December 23, 
1860; Thaddeus D., July 12, 1862; Ernest L., September 20, 1863; Frank L., 
October 10, 1864; Bowman, May 31, 1866. With the exception of Ernest all 
the children are living. 

Marcus L. Coe married Sarah Ann Kirk, February 28, 1855, in Ches- 
terfield, Morgan county, Ohio. Children : Decius O., Maria Louise, Cora 
Belle, Elizabeth N., and Edward N. Kirk. 

Mortimer S. Coe married Bachel C. Penrose, March 28, 1855. Children : 
Edwin and Albert. 

Becker Miller was born April 6, 1820, in the Dukedom of Oldenburg, 
Germany. He came to America with his family in 1837. He resided for a 
short time in Lee county, but soon after settled in Jordan on section 25, where 
he still lives. Mr. Miller married Elizabeth Maria Thummel, September 19, 
1852. Children : Emma, Christina, Adeline E., Ella May, George W., Fred- 
erick L., and Juliet L. 

Vernon Sanford was born in Middletown, Delaware county. New York, 
April 4, 1810. He was married to Catherine Campbell, September 7, 1834. 
She was born November 18, 1815, in Dutchess county. New York. Mr. San- 
ford settled upon section 7, Jordan, November 8, 1836. He, like many other 
pioneers, lived first in a log cabin, the floor the earth, the " door " a quilt, and 
the chimney mud and sticks. In 1841 he built a frame house, the first one 
erected in the township. In 1838 Mr. Sanford built a saw-mill on Bufi"alo 
creek, now owned by Mr. Jacob Deyo, and run as a saw and grist mill alter- 
nately. Mr. Sanford's children are Mary Jane, born February 5, 1837; Nancy, 
born April 15, 1839; and Rachel A., born October 12, 1852. Mary Jane married 
Edwin Wolcot, December 13, 1854, and died March 25, 1861. Rachel A. died 
December 4, 1855. Nancy married Gilbert Finkle, October 22, 1857, and is 
the mother of eight children. The ancient village of Sanfordville, situated in 
the northeast part of the township, derived its name from the Sanford family. 

Jabez Gilbert was born at Harrington, Litchfield county, Connecticut. 
He was married to Miss M. West, May 30, 1815. She was born April 9, 1796. 
Mr. Gilbert settled in Jordan township in 1839, and died January 1, 1844, from 
small pox. Children: Eunice M., born March 10, 1817; Clement W., born 
August 21, 1819; Flora E., born August 23, 1821; Julius E., born October 9, 
1823; Abner, born December 2, 1825; Hannah, born July 10, 1828; Jabez Jr., 
born September 26, 1833; Hezekiah W., born October 20, 1835; John B., born 
December 25, 1841. Eunice married Benj. Davis. Children: Ellen M., Ben- 
jamin C, Maria L., Homer B., Emma A., and lola A. Mrs. Davis died in New 
York in 1865. Benjamin Davis died in Libby Prison during the war. Ellen, 


Maria, and lola are dead. Abner married Clara Enderton. They have had 
three chileren, now all dead but Frank. Mr. Gilbert died in April, 1858. Ja- 
hez, Jr. died October 5, 1858. Clement married Betsey Daggett, who died in 

1869. He was subsequently married to Mary Goodrich, and after her death to 
Helen Stevenson. i/<3;:f/aa/t married Mary Beman, who died in 1878. He was 
afterwards married to Harriet Root. T^Zora married Manoah Hubbard, in 1841. 
Children: Lucinda M., Mary J., and William. The two daughters are dead. 
William lives in Sterling. Manoah Hubbard died in April, 1859. Mrs. Hub- 
bard married John B. Rogers in September, 1875. Hannah married John Pet- 
tigrew. Children: Maurice, Emma, Ella, and Florence. The latter died in 

1870. Julius E. was first married about twenty-five years ago. Mrs. Gilbert 
dying, Mr. Gilbert was married to Viola Higgins, in 1864. Children: Jabez, 
James E., Julius, Cora, May, and Minnie. Jofm married Katie Higgins Janu- 
ary 30, 1871. Children: Grace and Jerome B. Grace died in infancy. 

Lot S. Pennington was born in Somerset county. New Jersey, November 
12, 1812. In 1826 he emigrated to the West and settled in Jersey county, H- 
linois. After remaining there a short time he settled in Macoupin county. Dr. 
Pennington married Ann P. Barnett, who was born in Barnett, Vermont. Mrs. 
P. died December 19, 1866, and Dr. Pennington was married to Ruth A. 
Morrison in 1868. In 1839 he removed north and settled in Sterling, in May 
of that year. He practiced his profession for about one year. In the mean- 
time he purchased a farm in section 32, Jordan township, and embarked in the 
farm, fruit and nursery business, devoting about 150 acres to fruit trees and a 
nursery, which he gradually increased. Owing to the distance from which 
grafts and trees had to be transported, the danger from the annual prairie fires, 
and the depredations of the myriads of rabbits, indefatigable energy and persis- 
tence were required to make the business a success. In 1856 Dr. Pennington 
abandoned the nursery business and devoted his energies to the production of 
fruit, and the great Illinois crop — corn. Dr. Pennington's home farm com- 
prises eight hundred acres, in addition to which he has lands and lots in Ster- 
ling township and city, and also lands in Hopkins township, making him one of 
the largest land owners in the county. All of this land is of excellent quality. 
Upon his home farm he has 160 acres in orchard, a large amount of the fruit 
raised from it being of the finest varieties. In 1876 he raised about eight 
thousand bushels of apples from this orchard. To utilize his immense apple 
crops, he erected last year a factory of a large capacity for the pui'pose of mak- 
ing cider vinegar. A very large quantity, and of excellent quality, was manu- 
factured. Upon his farm are also magnificent quarries of building stone, which 
have been developed, but not worked extensively owing to their distance from 
railroads. Recently the Doctor has been engaged in boring an artesian well up- 
on, his farm, and a depth of 2,200 feet has been reached, but as the water does 
not as yet flow to the surface, he contemplates during the coming winter (1877- 
'78) to continue the work until a satisfactory supply can be had, as he expects 
at no distant day to furnish the city of Sterling with a supply of water. Be 
sides being an agriculturist, Dr. Pennington is a prominent horticulturist and 
pomologist, and has written several valuable papers upon these pursuits, all of 
which have been widely copied by agricultural and horticultural papers, and by 
the general press, and the suggestions made and ideas advanced by him highly 
commended. He has also been a delegate to a large number of meetings and 
conventions held for the promotion of agriculture and horticulture, at each of 
which he took a leading part. Dr. Pennington was Supervisor of Jordan town- 
ship from 1867 to 1876, inclusive, and has held various other township offices. 
Joseph M. Wilson was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, May 12, 


1803, and died April 2, 1874. Mrs. Frances Wilson, his wife, died May 19, 
1877. Mr. "Wilson's family of children consisted of Catharine, born January 9. 
1831; Mary, born March 31, 1833; Hannah, born February 22, 1835; Nathan^ 
born December 9, 1836; Elizabeth, born May 5, 1838; John M., born Febru- 
ary 16, 1840; James Sykes, born January 31, 1842; Joseph, born January 4, 
1844. Catharine, Hannah, Elizabeth, Joseph and John are dead; with the ex- 
ception of the latter, all died in early childhood. John married Laura Black- 
enstone April 30, 1869. James S. married Mary F. Mitchell; three children. 
Nathan married Catharine A. King, of Richmond, Indiana; seven children. Jo- 
seph M. Wilson settled in Jordan township July 3, 1835, and built a log mill, 
which was started May 22, 1836. He was engaged in other enterprises, and did 
much to develop the resources of the new country. 

Joshua Miles was born in Brooklyn, Connecticut, March 21, 1780. His 
father moved to Litchfield, New York, in 1801, and in 1808 to Brooklyn, Penn- 
sylvania. Joshua married Miss Caroline Caswell, April 3, 1808, she being three 
years his junior. Their children were : Lucy Caroline, born June 17, 1810, 
and married Dr. B. Richardson, of Brooklyn, Pennsylvania! Charles Wesley, born 
August 16, 1812, and died in Sterling, Illinois, March 21, 1851; Mary, born 
January 24, 1815, and married Horace R. Mack; Sarah L., born July 7, 1817, 
and married Amos Fassett; Harriet N., born September 6, 1819, 'died May 29, 
1840, at Brooklyn, Pennsylvania; Jane E., born August 19, 1822, married Rev. 
H. J. Humphrey, at Sterling, and died July 5, 1850; Alice L., born March 24, 
1825, and died at Sterling, November 22, 1858; Frances L., born August 15, 
1827, and married Rufus DeGarmo, of Sterling; Eveline W., born April 5, 1830, 
and died at Sterling, June 7, 1847; and Helen A., born May 22, 1835, who mar- 
ried Peter DeGarmo, of Sterling. Mr. Miles moved to Jordan, Whiteside coun- 
ty, with his family, in 1844, living for several years on the west side of the Coe 
mill pond, after which he settled in Sterling where he lived a quiet retired life 
until August 10, 1863, when he died. Mr. Miles was the owner of many mills 
of various kinds, during his life, and once ran a paper mill in Brooklyn, Penn- 
sylvania, wherein he experimented in making paper from wood, and probably 
produced the first wood paper ever made. 

Charles W. Miles was born August 16. 1812, at Brooklyn, Pennsylvania, 
and first came to Illinois in 1838. He remained one year and then returned 
east, and with his father and his family again came west in 1844. Mr. Miles 
was never married. He built the saw mill known as the Coe- mill, now Bres- 
sler's, which he ran for several years. He afterwards moved to Sterling, and 
worked at the carpenter's trade, and died in the house on the bank of the river, 
known as the Wallace House, March 21. 1851. 


History of Lyndon Township — Biograi'iiical — Village of Lyndon. 

History of Lyndon Township. 

The territory now comprising the township of Lyndon originally formed a 
part of Crow Creek Precinct, then became connected with Little Rock Precinct, 
and afterwards, together with a portion of the present township of Fenton, form- 
ed a Precinct called Lyndon, and so remained until the boundaries of the 
township were defined, and name given, by the Commissioners appointed by the 
County Commissioners' Court, in 1852. The township is composed of all that 
part of Congressional township 20 north, range 5 east, as lies north of Rock 
river, and also sections 5 and 6, and fractional parts of sections 4, 7, 8, 9 and 
16 of township 20 north, range 6 east, as lies north of Rock river. It contains 
16,799 acres, the land being rolling prairie back of the river, and mostly bottom 
land, along the river. Out of the 16,799 acres of land in Lyndon, only 409 acres 
remain unimproved, showing the fine location, and fertility of the soil, of the 
township. The township is watered by Rock river which flows on a part of its 
eastern and the whole of its southern border, and by a small stream rising on 
section 2, and flowing in a direction a little west of south until it empties into 
Rock river on section 15. The wells of the township are abundant, and the water 
mainly of excellent quality. There are also several good springs. A fine grove, 
known as Hamilton's Grove, is situated on sections 19 and 20 on the west side 
of the township, and Fitch's Grove on section 30 in the southwest part. There 
is a belt of timber also along Rock river. Besides this timber land, a large num- 
ber of shade trees have been planted throughout the township, most of which are 
now of large size. 

.Lyndon was one of the earliest settled towns in the county, parties begin- 
ning to come in as early as 1835. Among those who came that year were 
Chauncy G. Woodrufi' and family, Adam R. Hamilton and family, William D. 
Dudley and family. Liberty Walker, and Ephraim H. Hubbard. The Woodrufi", 
Hamilton, and Dudley families came together from New York State, travelling 
about a thousand miles with teams, and were thirty days on the road. After 
arriving at Lyndon they were compelled to camp out until their cabins were built, 
sleeping on the ground, and in addition to other discomforts and annoyances 
had the prairie rattlesnakes, called by the Indians Massasaugas, for neighbors. 
These reptiles, however, always gave notice of an attack, by rattling, and thus 
could be avoided or killed; still their companionship was not at all agreeable. 
Previous to their departure from New York, Mr. Dudley had taken the precau- 
tion to forward a cask of pork, which in addition to the flour and corn meal ob- 
tained in Chicago, constituted their commissary stores during the summer and 
part of the fall at their prairie homes. The party arrived at Lyndon. August 5, 
1835. Mr. Woodruff made his claim just west of the Amos Cady place, where 
he put up a cabin, covered it with hay, and remained in it until the following 
year. The improvised roof afforded but little protection when it rained, the 
water running through and wetting every article in the cabin. When the sun 
came out the clothing and bedding had to be removed to the open air and dried. 



He sold out to Amos Cady, in 1836, and settled on the claim where he after- 
wards resided. Upon this land he built a frame house, siding it with oak lum- 
ber costing $2,50 per hundred feet. The ground was used for a floor for the 
first six months. In 1838 he broke twenty-three acres of ground, using oxen, 
and raised a good crop of grain. Mr. Dudley built a log cabin 12 by 12 feet in 
size, and covered it with bark, where he kept a boarder besides his family of four 
persons. The cabin was also used occasionally as a church, and for the enter- 
tainment of travelers when they came through that vicinity. His next cabin 
was 16 by 24 feet in size, the ground and chamber floors being made of punch- 
eons hewn out with a broad ax. This cabin was roomy and comfortable. Ijiberty 
Walker was a bachelor, and made a l^ge claim on the river below Lyndon, where 
he raised a crop of sod grain in 1836. He died April 29, 1837, and was buried 
on a mound near the present farm of Mr. P. A. Brooks. Adam E. Hamilton 
died August 28, 1865. He was well known throughout the county during his 
lifetime, and his death was universally mourned. Ephraim H. Hubbard remained 
only a short time, when he moved away, and died in March, 1842. 

Among those who came in 1836 were William Farrington, father of Ad- 
dison Farrington the present Circuit Clerk of Whiteside county, P. L. Jeffers, 
Eev. Elisha Hazard, Erastus Fitch, Augustus Rice, Dr. Augustin Smith, W. W. 
Gilbert, Geo. Dennis; in 1837, Draper B. Reynolds, Capt. Harry Smith, D. 
F. Millikan, A. I. Maxwell, David Hazard, Benj. Coburn, Sr., and family, Wes- 
ley Anderson. Wm. 0. Dudley, George Higley, P. Daggett, Brainard Orton, 
Amos Cady, John C. Pratt, Robert G. Clendenin, Thomas C. Gould and Pardon 
A. Brooks; in 1838, James M. Goodhue, Timothy Dudley, Marcus Sperry, A. 
W. Newhall, Lyman Reynolds, Smith Chambers, and John M. Scott; in 1839, 
Charles R. Deming, John Roy, Jared D. Conyne, Ferdinand B. Hubbard, Solo- 
mon Hubbard, Alexis Hubbard. 

David Hazard was originally a New Yorker, but had resided in Pennsyl- 
vania some years before he came West. Like some of the other Lyndon people 
he brought his family and goods all the way, a distance of nine hundred miles, 
by team, his journey taking twenty-eight days. On the other hand Draper B. 
Reynolds preferred the water route, and came from New York State by the way 
of the Alleghany, Ohio, and Mississippi rivers, and landed at Fulton, and from 
thence to Lyndon by team. When D. F. Millikan first came he domiciled in a 
cabin near where W. 0. Dudley now resides. It was covered with bark," and 
when it rained the water came through the roof as freely as it did through Mr. 
Woodruff's hay roof. One night during a severe rain storm, Mrs. Millikan 
sought to protect her husband and children from getting wet in their beds, by 
placing an umbrella over the bed of the latter, on the floor, and a tin basin on 
Mr. IMillikan's breast, so as to catch the water as it came through the bark roof 
to where he lay. He soon sank into a sleep, as did all the family, and when the 
basin was well filled unconsciously turned over, throwing the water upon Mrs. 
Millikan. The scene that followed can be better imagined than described. In 
the winter of 1839-40, Mr. Millikan went to Knox's mill, in Elkhorn Grove, 
with a horse and pung, taking a grist to be ground. The mill, like that of the 
gods, ground very slow, and he was compelled to stay all night before he could 
get his grist. During the night, one of those terrible snow storms, so familiar 
to all the old settlers of this country, set in, the wind coming from the northwest 
almost like a tornado. Li the morning there being no appearance of its abating 
he determined to start for home taking the wind as a guide, as the air was so 
filled with snow that seeing was out of the question. In the afternoon he 
reached Hickory Grove, where he found an unoccupied cabin, and being )iearly 
frozen, attempted to light a fire, but failed. This necessitated a renewal of the 


journey, and striking out again in the storm he reached horae a little after dark, 
hungry, and chilled through with the cold. Old settlers can readily compre- 
hend the situation. He has yet in his possession an old fashioned cord bed- 
stead, which he brought from Ohio. The side rails were used on the trip West 
as levers to pry the wagon out of the mud, when it got sloughed. Lyman 
Reynolds was one of the eccentric men of that day, and was known, at his own 
suggestion, by the soubriquet of the Duke of Bulgerorum. He had his cabin 
where Hiram Austin now lives, and named it Bulgerorum ranch. He died 
about twenty-five years ago, near Geneseo, Dlinois, was found dead in his bed. 
Samuel and George Higley were the tall men of the Lyndon settlement, the 
former being six feet and six inches in his stocking feet, and the latter six feet 
and four inches. John C. Pratt first visited Whiteside county in 1835, travel- 
ing most of the way on foot. Returning to New York, he engaged the services 
of James Knox, who afterwards settled where Morrison now stands, Lyman 
Bennett, at present a resident of Albany, and William Farrington, to open up a 
large farm on the bend of the river, opposite Prophetstown, called the Oxbow 
Bend, and also one on section 36, in Fenton township, opposite Portland, furnish- 
ing them with oxen, yokes, chains, etc., agreeing to pay them three dollars per 
acre for breaking prairie, and one dollar per hundred for splitting rails and put- 
ting them into a fence. 

In the winter of 1835-'36 about two thousand Indians were encamped in 
the timber between Prophetstown and Lyndon, and many of them remained 
through the whole of the year 1836. In the fall of that year, while Mr. Wood- 
ruff was engaged in repairing a boat on Rock river, a large party of these Indians 
came to the bank near where he was at work. They had killed a fine buck, and 
as soon as they had halted, built a fire, cut the deer in two in the middle, and 
without removing the skin put the part with the head on into a kettle and 
cooked it without salt or other seasoning. After it was cooked to their notion 
the part was taken out and placed ready for those who were to partake of the 
feast, a chop stick being the ticket to dinner. During the time this was being 
done, a party of young Indians in a tent near by, kept up a continual chant, 
and a little at one side, a squaw sat on the river bank and wailed incessantly. 
Mr. Woodruff afterwards ascertained that this chanting and wailing was caused 
by the death of the squaw's child. The young Indians and the squaw were not 
invited to the feast. The howling of the choir in the tent, and the wailing of 
the bereaved mother, were of the most approved style of Indian funereal ceremo- 
nies. When the work on the boat was completed an effort was made to secure 
the services of the Indians in assisting to turn the boat over, and launching it, 
and they could only be induced to do so upon the promise of Asa Crook, who 
was then present, to treat them well with whiskey for the service. Being nat- 
urally intemperate they went to work, and the boat was soon in the stream. 
On second thought Mr. Crook wisely concluded it would not be safe to let the 
savages have the fire-water, as they never failed to get intoxicated, and refused 
to redeem his promise. This so maddened the Indians that they went to the 
neighboring corn field, loaded their canoes with corn and pumpkins, and with 
the booty went down the river. 

In 1839 a company consisting of Messrs. Ray, Harmon, Spencer, and Dix, 
contracted to extend the mill race at Lyndon from a point on the river just 
below the town, under the bluffs, and have it enter the river below Portland, 
on the north, near Squaw Point or Portland ferry. The intention was to put 
up mills and manufacturing establishments at the outlet. The race had been 
excavated in 1838, and a saw mill upon a large and substantial plan erected, at 
which about two hundred feet of hard wood lumber had been sawed; but the 


race was not deep enougli to be of any practical use, and hence the project to 
increase its size and length. Under the contract it was made ten feet wide at 
the bottom, and so far finished as to let the water through, but the power was 
not sufficient to make it a success. Hard times had come; money was scarce, 
and there was no market but the home demand. All the money had to be kept 
to enter the lands when they came into market. Contracts for commodities 
were therefore made to be liquidated in corn, wheat, pork, potatoes, turnips, 
cows, horses, in fact anything that could be bartered. The contractors, under 
such a state of things, were unable to fully complete their work, and lost 
heavily, Mr. Ray alone losing six thousand dollars, a very large sum of money 
in those days. This embarassed him for a time, but he eventually recovered 
from it. Mr. Harmon never really got over his loss; he went farther West some 
twenty years ago, and when last heard from was in the mining regions of the 
Rocky Mountains. Spencer and Dix never lived permanently in the West. 

Under the act of the General Assembly of the State, passed in 1839, 
Messrs. Chauncy G. Woodruff and Adam R. Hamilton were appointed 
Commissioners to superintend an election for a place to be the county 
seat of Whiteside county. The first election under this act was held in May, 
1839, at which votes were cast for Lyndon, Sterling, Prophetstown, Albany, 
Fulton, and Union Grove, and resulted in no choice being made. The act pro- 
vided that an election should be held every four weeks until a majority of votes 
was given for one place, and finally at the September election the Commission- 
ers decided that Lyndon had received a majority of all the votes polled, and it 
was duly declared the county seat. A full history of county seat matters is 
given in chapter IV, of this volume, pages 71-76. The first meeting of the 
Count) Commissioners' Court was held at the house of Wm. D. Dudley, in 
Lyndon, in May, 1839, the Commissioners being John B. Dodge, Nathaniel G. 
Reynolds, and Elijah AVorthington. Mr. Worthington died in the winter of 
1839-'40; Mr. Dodge was killed by a desperado at Hazel Green, a few miles 
northeast of Galena, and Mr. Reynolds died in the winter of 1865-'66. The 
first Circuit Court was held in Lyndon in April, 1840, in an unfinished house 
then owned by T. C. Gould. Hon. Daniel Stone was Circuit Judge, Robert L. 
Wilson, Clerk of the Court, James C. Woodburn, Sheriff, and J. W. McLemore, 
Deputy Sheriff. The following incident occurred at the time of holding the 
first Circuit Court at Lyndon. Two of the members of the bar having business 
before the Court were from Dixon, and immediately upon their arrival in town 
called at the store of Smith Chambers, and wanted some Avhiskey, as that article 
was then included and generally kept under the head of groceries, but were 
informed by him that whiskey formed no part of his invoice of groceries, and 
that none could be found in Lyndon. Seized with disappointment and despair 
they ejaculated, "No whiskey? What a hell of a place this is to hold Court in!" 
At that early time an unlimited capacity for stimulants and a small amount of 
legal knowledge constituted the necessary qualifications of many attorneys. 

The first and only resident lawyer in Lyndon, at the holding of the first 
Circuit Court at that place, was James M. Goodhue. He was a fine scholar and 
well read attorney, although nervous and excitable as a man. The latter quali- 
ties sometimes precipitated him into difficulties about unimportant matters, and 
made himself trouble which he afterwards avoided. On one occasion while the 
Circuit Court was in session, he got into one of these little difficulties on the 
street with an old settler greatly his senior, and in the melee received a blow. 
This so incensed him that he hurriedly went into open court and demanded that 
the assailant be brought in and punished for committing an assault and battery 
upon an attorney of record and ex-officio officer of the Court, but was blandly 


informed by Judge Stone that as he had ventured beyond the jurisdiction of 
the Court, it could give him no redress, and that his remedy was an action for 
assault and battery before a Justice of the Peace. Mr. Goodhue afterwards 
went north and settled in Minnesota, where he held important public positions. 
Goodhue county, in that State, was named after him. He died a number of 
years ago. 

The first child born in Lyndon was to Dr. Augustin and Mary A. Smith, 
whose life was of short duration. This was in 1836. The second child was 
Elisha, son of David and Leonora Hazard, born December 8, 1837. 

The first parties to enter into wedlock were Theron Crook and Miss Nancy 
A. Hamilton, daughter of Adam R. Hamilton, the ceremony being performed 
on the 3d of March, 1836. This was one of the first marriages in Whiteside 
county. Mr. Crook is a resident of Oregon. Mrs. Crook has been dead for 
many years. 

The first death was that of Liberty Walker, which occurred on the 29th of 
April, 1837. The first female who died i;i the township was Mrs. Mary A. 
Smith, wife of Dr. Augustin Smith, her death occurring July 16, 1837. Mrs. 
Lydia A., wife of B. Coburn, whose death occurred July 31, 1837, was the first 
person buried in the Lyndon cemetery. 

The early settlers of Lyndon had been well educated at their eastern 
homes, and brought a strong love of knowledge with them when they came 
West. The privileges they had received they determined should be extended 
to their children, so far as the circumstances of their new situation would ad- 
mit. Teachers were at hand, but school houses had to be built, and school 
books procured, and to do either was no eavsy task. It was as much as they were 
able to do to erect rude cabins to shelter them from the night air and the 
storms, and whatever money they made from their crops was needed for the 
purchase of their claims when they were placed into market by the Govern- 
ment, and for actual necessaries for the household. Yet their determination 
was strong to conquer all impediments in the way of furnishing at least a rudi- 
mental education for their children. When a school house could not be built, 
the cabin of the settler was thrown open to the teacher and the scholar, and the 
few test books made to do double and sometimes quadruple duty. The first 
teacher in what is now the township of Lyndon was Miss Lovica B. Hamilton, 
now Mrs. J. W. Olds, and the school taught in the back room of Deacon 
Hamilton's house, in the summer of 1836. The next year a log school house 
was built near Mr. Hamilton's, and Alexis Hubbard employed as the first teach- 
er. The first male teacher in the town, however, was Mr. Knowlton, who 
taught in the winter of 1836-'37 in the same room in Mr. Hamilton's house 
that Miss Hamilton had used the summer previous. Now there are eight dis- 
tricts in the township, and each has a good school building. 

Coeval with the establishment of schools with such people as the early set- 
tlers of Lyndon is the establishment of religious services. With them religion 
and education go hand in hand. A church edifice is no sooner erected than a 
school-house stands by its side. But as it is in most cases impossible to erect 
these structures at once in a new settlement, other buildings must be used, 
and in Lyndon the cabin door was thrown as freely open to the man of God as 
it was to the man of letters. The 3d of March, 1836, saw the first religious 
meeting held at Lyndon, the place of gathering being the 12 by 12 cabin of Wm. 
D. Dudley. The cabin was covered with bark, but beneath that lowly roof the 
orisons of praise were as sincerely made and were as acceptable to Him to whom 
they were addressed as though they had been sent up from an edifice equal in 
grandeur and magnificence to a Trinity, a St. Paul's, or a St. Peter's. On that 


occasion Deacon A. R. Hamilton officiated by reading a sermon, and leading in 
the other services. The first sermon preached in the town was by Rev. Elisha 
Hazard, in the same cabin, in June, 1836. The first church society was organ- 
ized by the Congregationalists in 1836, and others afterwards followed. 

The Rockford. Rock Island & St. Louis Railroad, now owned by the Chi- 
cago, Burlington & Quincy Company, enters the township on section 6 of Con- 
gressional township 20 north, range 6 east, and runs in a southwesterly direc- 
tion through sections 1, 12, 11, 10, 15, 16, 21, 20, 19 and 30 of Congressional 
township 20 north, range 5 east, and passes out at the northwest corner of the 
latter section. The Mendota and Prophetstown branch of the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Quincy Railroad strikes the township at Rock river, in the southeast 
part of section 30, and running northwesterly passes out on the southwest cor- 
ner of section 19. The two roads intersect each other on the line between sec- 
tions 19 and 30. 

The following is a list of the Supervisors, Town Clerks, Assessors, and 
Collectors of the township of Lyndon from 1852 to 1877 : 

Supervisors: — 1852-'55, Robert Gr. Clendenin; 1856-'62, Justus Rew; 
1863, Lucius E.Rice; 1864, John Whallon; 1865-'69, Henry Dudley; 1870-72, 
John Whallon; 1873, Justus Rew; 1874-77, John Whallon. 

Town Clerks .•— 1852-"53, W. Andrews; 1854, C. A. Sperry; 1855, W. An- 
drews; 1856, A. A. Higley; 1857-'64, Henry Dudley; 1865, Samuel G. Scott; 
1866, Homer Gillette; 1867, Charles C. Sweeney; 1868, Edward Ward; 1869, 
W. Andrews; 1870-72, Moses Lathe; 1873-76, E. B. Hazard; 1877, Ethan 

Assessors .-—1852, Justus Rew; 1853-'55, John Lathe; 1856, H. B. Free- 
man; 1857, Reuben King; 1858, John Lathe; 1859-60, Alpheus Clark; 1861, 
Lucius E. Rice; 1862-77, John Lathe. 

Collectors :— 1862, Amos Cady; 1853, 0. Woodruff; 1854-'55, Amos 
Cady; 1856-'63, John Roberts; 1864-'67, Samuel G. Scott; 1868-'69, O. W. 
Richardson; 1870-71, E. C. Sweeney; 1872-75, Harry R. Smith; 1876, Joseph 
F. Wilkins; 1877, E. B. Hazard. 

Justices of the Peace: — 1852, David P. Moore; 1854, Joseph F. Wilkins, 
D. P. Moore; 1858. Wesley Anderson, Orange Woodruff; 1860, Wesley Ander- 
son, 0. Woodruff; 1864, Joseph F. Wilkins, W. Anderson; 1868, J. F. Wilkins, 
W. Anderson; 1872, J. F. Wilkins; 1873, Charles C. Sweeney; 1877, J. F. 
Wilkins, Moses Lathe. 

Lyndon township contains 16,390 acres of improved lands and 409 acres 
unimproved; 174 improved lots, and 94 unimproved. According to the Asses- 
sor's book for 1877 there are in the township 618 horses, 1,926 cattle, 17 mules 
and asses, 658 sheep, 2,256 hogs, 2 billiard tables, 170 carriages and wagons, 
38 watches and clocks, 106 sewing and knitting machines, 5 piano-fortes, 33 
melodeons and organs. Total assessed value of lands, lots and personal proper- 
ty, $407,012; railroad property, $27,295; total assessed value of all property 
in 1877, $434,307. 

The population of the township of Lyndon in 1870, as shown by the cen- 
sus report of that year, was 1,039, of which 963 were of native birth, and 76 of 
foreign birth. The estimated population in 1877 is 1,100. 


vVdam R. Hamilton was bom in Northampton, Massachusetts, October 12, 
1791, and came to Lyndon, Whiteside county, in August, 1835. He married 
Miss Nancy Miller on the 18th of April, 1813. Mrs. Hamilton was also a 
native of Massachusetts, and born on the 9th of February, 1792. The children 


of this marriage were : John M., born May 11, 1814; Nancy A., born May 6, 
1816; Lovica B., born May 22, 1818; George K, born February 24, 1820; 
Mary J., born May 19, 1822; Adam K, Jr., born June 1, 1824; Mary E., born 
June 6, 1826; and Harriet A., born July 13, 1833. Mary J. died October 12, 
1823. John M. married Miss Prudence Wright; children, Levi, Carrie E., 
Prudence and Elvira; Mrs. Hamilton died, and Mr. Hamilton married his sec- 
ond wife, Miss Anna Woodward; the children by this marriage are, George W., 
Charles A. and Frederick E. Nancy A. married Theron Cook, March 3, 1836; 
children, Asa, Mary E., George A., Adelia E., Lucy F., Adam R., and Edward 
and Edwin, twins. Lovica B. married John C. Swarthout; children, Harriet A., 
Albert M., James E., Adam, Emma J., George E., Mary E. and Lovica A.; 
James E., Adam and Lovica A. died in infancy; Mr. Swarthout died in 1848, 
and Mrs. Swarthout married J. W. Olds. George R. married Miss H. S. Belt, 
May 22, 1867; children, Willis G., Louie and Effie. Mary E. married John 
Garlick; children, Henry, Martha, Ida, Frank and Fred. Adam R., Jr., is in 
Oregon. John M. lives two miles west of Lyndon, and George R. occupies the 
old homestead; both are well-to-do farmers, and good neighbors and citizens. 
Mr. Hamilton was a Justice of the Peace of the county when these officers of 
the law received their appointment from the Governor, and was one of the 
Justices appointed by the Legislature to superintend the election, under the 
act of 1839, for a place to be the county-seat of Whiteside county. He was a 
sincere Christian, and gave the subject of religion more attention than all other 
matters combined, never failing to attend all church, Bible, Sunday-school and 
missionary meetings. All other engagements had to yield to church duties. 
He was a deacon in the Congregational Church so long that he was known 
everywhere as Deacon Hamilton. He died August 28, 1865, his wife having 
preceded him several years. 

Chauncy G. Woodruff was born in Livingston county. New York, Octo- 
ber 1, 1797, and came to Lyndon on the 5th of August, 1835. He had the dis- 
tinction of being the first child born in his native town. Mr. Woodruff and his 
family, consisting of his wife and three children, were, in connection with Adam 
R. Hamilton and family, and Wm. D. Dudley and family, the pioneer settlers of 
Lyndon. Mr. Woodruff's children were Julia, Orange G., and Mary J. Julia 
married Perry L. Jeffers, and died a number of years ago. Orange G. married 
Mrs. Helen M. Boardman, April 27, 1859; children, Lena E., Laura B., and L. 
Winnifred; Mr. Woodruff is well known throughout the county, and is a highly 
esteemed gentleman, and has been for some time L^^nited States Storekeeper at 
Sterling. Mary J. married David Hicks, and lives in the township of Lyndon, 
near the Prophetstown ferry. Mr. Woodruff took a prominent part in the affairs 
of Lyndon Precinct and township, and of the county, at an early day, and was 
a man of sound judgment, and unswerving integrity. He followed the vocation 
of a farmer, though in his early life in Lyndon he also prosecuted the trade of 
carpenter, to which he had been trained in New York. Many of the residences 
of the older settlers of the central and southern parts of the county bear the 
marks of his tools. He was a pronounced christian, a member of the Congre- 
gational church for many years, and was one of the founders of the church of 
that denomination at Lyndon. At the time he settled in Whiteside county it 
was a part of JoDavess county, and being elected Justice of the Peace he made 
the long trip to Galena to secure his commission of office. He was one of the 
two Justices of the Peace appointed by the Legislature to canvass the vote and 
declare the result for the location of the first seat of justice of the county, in 
1839. He died at his home near Lyndon on Sunday, April 25, 1875, of old age 
and general debility. The partner of his early trials died many years ago, but 


a second wife, worthy of him, who cheered his life for nearly a score of years, 
yet survives. 

Eev. Elisha Hazard came to Lyndon from New York State, in 1836. 
He was a clergyman of the Congregational church, and died about twenty-five 
years ago. One of his daughters is the wife of James S. Brown, and lives in 
Morrison. Another daughter married D. K. Lincoln, and lives at Fort Dodge, 

William D. Dudley was born at Richmond, Massachusetts, November 21, 
1786, and came to Lyndon August 5, 1835. He married Miss Tryphena Fitch, 
February 11, 1817. Their children were : Louisa, born July 9, 1818; Frances 
R., born April 20, 1822; Ann C, born August 5, 1824; Mary, born June 24, 1827, 
and William C, born July 7, 1830. Of these, Ann C. and Mary died in infancy, 
and Frances R. died July 19, 1833. William C. married MissArmina Summers, 
March 15, 1855; children, Mary L., Collin D., and Ruth. Mr. Dudley was one 
of the most prominent men in Whiteside during its early history. His widow 
is living with her son-in-law, W. 0. Dudley, and although eighty-one years of 
age, possesses remarkable physical and intellectual vigor. Mr. Dudley died at 
Lyndon, January 25, 1857. 

Timothy Dudley was born in Connecticut in 1772, and came to Lyndon 
in 1838. On the 2d of February, 1800, he married Miss Anna Osborn, who was 
a native of Connecticut, and born June 17, 1778, the children of the marriage 
being : Henry, who died in infancy; James Henry, born April 28, 1802; Wil- 
liam 0., born December 2, 1803; John, born November 3. 1805; Eliza, born July 
2, 1807; Jane, born August 27, 1810; Ann, born March 16, 1812; Charles, born 
December 8, 1813, and Henry, born March 31, 1818. James Henry died May 
6, 1829; Eliza died November 27, 1851, and Timothy died August 10, 1849. 
William 0. married Miss Louisa Dudley, October 18, 1837; their children have 
been : James Hervey, Frances Ruth, Eliza 0., George F., Ann L., Jane and 
John; Frances Ruth died January 16, 1850, and James Hervey, August 19, 1861; 
Eliza 0., George F., John and Jane are married; Ann L. resides at home with 

her parents. John married Miss Abigail ; children, John William, and 

Abigail. Ann married Marcus Sperry, November 27, 1836; children, James C, 
John v., and Restore C; James C, and Restore C, are married; John V. was 
killed in the ai-my. Charles married Miss Sarah Leek, and resides in Portage 
county, Ohio. Henry married Miss Harriet F. Smith, November 27, 1855; 
children, Edwin, and Charles; Mr. Dudley died August 12, 1873. Jane mar- 
ried Augustine W. Newhall, December 2, 1830; children, Ellen Jane, and Eliza 
D.; Ellen Jane married A. A. Higley, who died in the army in 1862; Eliza 
D. married Rev. L. D. White in January, 1857; children, Frank N., Alfred L., 
Jennie P., and Alden. 

SoLOMOxN Hubbard was born July 19, 1804 in Sangertield, Oneida county. 
New York, and came to Lyndon from Clarendon, Orleans County, New York, in 
1839. He married Miss Saropta Stone, August 30, 1826. The children of this 
marriage were Chauncy B., born July 4, 1827; Levi, born June 15, 1829; 
Elizabeth, born September 20, 1831; Darwin, born July 15, 1833; Almina,born 
December 11, 1836; William, born November 20, 1838; Orson, born May 24, 
1843, and George Henry, born February 16, 1845. Of these, Elizabeth died 
October 14, 1849; Almina, September 23, 1849, and Darwin, November 7, 1849. 
Chauncy M. married Miss Lizzie Morris; children, Orson, Dana, and Nellie V. 
Levi married Miss Ruth Delano; no children living. William married Miss 
Mary E. Hayes; children, Minnie S., Walter S. and George H. George Henry 
married Miss Louisa Pollins; one child, who died in infancy; Mrs. Hubbard 
died, and Mr. Hubbard married his second wife, Miss Olive F. Adams. Chauncy 


M. enlisted in Company B, 75th Illinois Volunteers, and was elected 
Sergeant; he was wounded at the battle of Stone river, and afterwards discharg- 
ed on account of the wound. William enlisted in Company B, 84th Regiment 
Illinois Volunteers, and was wounded at the battle of Stone river; afterward.s 
did hospital service until the close of the war. Orson Hubbard also enlisted in 
Company B, 34th Regiment Illinois Volunteers, and became sick while in the 
service, and was discharged; he afterwards enlisted in Company B, 75th Illinois 
Volunteers, became Corporal, and was killed at the battle of Perryville, Ken- 
tucky, October 8, 1862, and was buried on the battle field. George Henry also 
became a member of Company B, 34th Regiment Illinois Volunteers, and was 
wounded at the battle of Shiloh, and afterwards discharged on account of his 
wound; he re-enlisted in Company C, 8th Illinois Cavalry, and served during 
the remainder of the war. Each of these patriotic brothers was wounded in the 
head and breast. George H. was shot in the face, the ball coming out at the 
back of the head, and is still living. Orson was shot through the heart. 

Ferdinand B. Hubbard is a native of Sangerfield, Oneida county, Xew 
York, and was born May 4, 1818. He married Miss Mary O. Dorchester, April 
17, 1850. Their children are: Siley M., born December 14, 1852; Charles, 
born March 7, 1855; Ferdinand B., Jr., born May 24, 1857; Lizzie C. born 
March 26, 1859; Belle, born March 28, 1861; Hattie A., born 'January 4,1863, 
and Lena C, born August 20, 1865. Mr. Hubbard came to Lyndon in October, 
1839, with his brother Alexis, and at first taught school, and afterwards be- 
came a farmer. In 1855 he moved to Sterling, and engaged in the agricul- 
tural implement business, which he has since followed. The firm is now F. B. 
Hubbard & Sons, and their business house is on the corner of Mulberry and 
Second streets. Sterling. Mr. Hubbard is an active, thorough business man, a 
good citizen, and a kind neighbor. 

Alexis Hitbbard was born June 11, 1811, in Sangerfield, Oneida county, 
New York, and came to Lyndon with Solomon Hubbard, in 1839. He married 
Miss Olive Dusette on the 11th of September, 1839. Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard 
have had no chi^ldren of their own, but have adopted and raised quite a number. 
They are still living at their old home in Lyndon, and are very highly esteemed 
by all who know them. 

D. F. MlLLlKAN is a nati